Compressed Fruits with Homemade Mascarpone
One of the things I started to do this summer is compressing fruits in a sous vide vacuum sealer. Compressing fruits displaces the air in the fruit resulting in a more dense texture, intensified colour and concentrated flavour so it makes an interesting ingredient to use in some dishes.
To compress fruits
Depending on the fruit you use either leave them whole or cut into slices, cubes or another shape. In this case i used strawberries and left them whole.
Place them in sealer bag, add flavouring if you wish (see below) seal the bag and refrigerate for a few hours. After a while the fruit juices will begin to come out and break the seal so use it sooner rather than later but they do keep in the fridge for a while. Leave them hole if they are berries, or cut in half fruits such as plums, or cut into slices or cubes if you are using watermelon.
What to add to the fruit when compressing:
Infused syrup (with herbs etc)
Fruits suitable for compression include:
1-2 pints fresh strawberries or as you require
2 tablespoons sugar per pint
Toss the berries with sugar, careful add to a sealer bag and seal according to your sealer instructions. All the aur should be out of the bag and the fruits pressed and sealed.
Refrigerate for a few hours before using.
2 cups heavy cream (35%-37%)
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place the cream in a pot and bring to a simmer at 180F.
Keep simmering at that temperature for 3 minutes/
Add lemon juice, stir for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat and let sit until cooled to room temperature, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Line a sieve with cheesecloth (4 layers) and set over a bowl, making sure there is room below the sieve for the whey to drain.
Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth lined sieve and refrigerate 24-48 hours. The cheese with thicken as it drains, it may take the full 48 h.
When ready, transfer the mascarpone into a glass jar and keep refrigerated. You can discard the whey.
Assembling the dessert:
Smear a spoonful of mascarpone over a plate.
Arrange the berries beside it.
Shave chocolate over.
Garnish with mint leaves.