Homemade Burrata with Chef Justin Walker of Earth at Hidden Pond – Kennebunkport, ME

by Meha Desai
Antoinette Bruno and Rebecca Cohen
August 2013

Restaurant

Silky on the outside and utterly butterly creamy on the inside, an ideal burrata is magnificent in its simplicity. Best eaten fresh, burrata has recently gained popularity outside its home town of Puglia. Some cheese mongers are already lining up as the plane lands! Burrata is made when fresh mozzarella curds are plunged into hot whey or lightly salted water, kneaded and pulled to develop the familiar stretchy strings, then shaped into a round pouch. Traditionally, the pouch is then filled with ritagli or left over mozzarella scraps and topped off with fresh cream. Finally, it's wrapped in asphodel leaves to form a tight knot, and moistened with a little whey.

Chef Justin Walker of Earth at the Hidden Pond, shares his version of this delightful treat. The key is to start off with the freshest ingredients you can find. Add mozzarella curds to simmering water (the temperature should be approximately 165°F) and let them set a while. When they start to form strings, take a decent-sized chunk and start to gently pull it, remembering to keep it warm by dipping it in water, if needed. Continue to pull until the sheet is see through but won’t tear. Now squeeze a dollop of ricotta into the centre. Pinch the top closed, give it a final twist, and pinch off any access mozzarella. Soak it in olive oil and revel in the lusciousness of supremely fresh cheese.