The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


cheesehappens's picture


I'm writing a piece on smearcase and here in Baltimore there's certainly a lot of discussion about what is authentic. Anyone from anywhere with recipes, reminiscences, etc., to share? Merci!

proth5's picture

was young (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) this was the term my family (a PA "Dutch" family) used for any cottage cheese.  Of course, we only considered it authentic when it was covered with ludwarrich (apple butter.)

I have seen it spelled schmierkase - but PA Deitsch dialect spellings are wildly inconsistent.

I'll bet there is raging controversy!

mhjoseph's picture

It looks the same to me as the farmer's cheese or baker's cheese which see the supermarket.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Does anyone have a good recipe for mascarpone? I read you can use either lemon juice or tartar. Which is better? I have tons of lemons so that would be easier.

Where can I buy JUnket rennet for making other types of cheeses?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or something similar.  Maybe he will chime in. 

For cheese, do you mean  Rennet tablets?

mrfrost's picture

Link to what appears to be an excellent tutorial(with pics) on making mascarpone. He makes it with tartaric acid, but mentions that lemon juice may be used.

About 4 years ago, I was in L.A. and was looking for some mascarpone cheese. The only (convenient) place I was able to find it was Trader Joe's. I think I recall it being about $3 (or $4?) for a small 8 oz tub. This was almost 4 years ago. Pretty sure I saw the same stuff somewhat recently here at Trader Joe's in Atlanta, but don't remember the price.

As I recall, it didn't seem to have much taste or flavor, but being unfamiliar with this new(to me) food, maybe I just didn't know what taste I was to expect.

Wonder how the home made compares for taste, and economics? I imagine one will probably realize a volume yield of about half(or less?) that of the cream and half and half used.


mcs's picture

This is similar to the method posted by mrfrost using tartaric acid (available in powdered form where you'd buy winemaking supplies).

2 liters heavy cream
5 ml tartaric acid

1.  Stirring constantly, bring the cream to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until it is reduced by 33%.  I weigh the saucepan with the cream in it, figure out what the 'target weight' is, then check it periodically. FYI it takes me about 20 min.

2.  Place the pan in an ice bath and stir to cool.  

3.  Stir in the tartaric acid, return to pan to heat, then bring the mixture to 118F.  Remove from heat.

4.  Line a colander with a triple layer of cheesecloth.  Place the colander in a stock pot to catch the liquid, then pour the cream in the cheesecloth.  Cover the stockpot with plastic wrap and place the whole thing in the fridge overnight.  

It's good to go in the morning and tastes better than what you'd buy in a store.  Works great for tiramisu!