If you want to impress your friends with a luxurious Italian ingredient then burrata is your go to. At Urban Pie, we like to think of burrata as the evil twin of mozzarella. It is much creamier and more gluttonous than mozzarella. The translation literally means “butter.” We will cover the art of making curds for mozzarella in another lesson but for now, I will show a fool proof method to the mozza-madness.
First off you need to source out mozzarella curds and fresh mozzarella. Always source a local cheesemaker or dairy. I use Gioia based out of Southern California. Go to your local whole foods and have them order in the curds for you. You won’t have a problem finding the fresh mozzarella. It’s that simple. You will need some heavy cream, about 2 balls of mozzarella to make 5 pieces of burrata and exactly 21 oz of mozzarella curds for this recipe.
Next, we will make the “stracciatella” which translates to “torn apart.” Take a couple pieces of fresh mozzarella and grate it on the larger side of a cheese grater into a bowl. Add in a little heavy cream until you have the consistency of cottage cheese and finish with a good quality sea salt. Set the stracciatella aside.
Meanwhile, heat up a pot of water with at least a gallon of water to 170 degrees using a thermometer. Then dice up 21 ounces of mozzarella curds into half inch cubes and sprinkle over three tablespoons of salt. Place into a bowl. Pour over 2 quarts of the warm water and let sit for exactly 2 minutes. Pour off the water and then pour 2 more quarts of the 170 water over the softened curds. Start to push the curds together with two rubber spatulas into a ball. Then with a large metal serving spoon pull up the curds into the air and stretch them two to three times being careful not to overwork the curds.
Form them into a ball with making sure to use plastic gloves. Pull off a piece of mozzarella and form a small pancake in the palm of your hand. Stuff the “stracciatella” onto the middle of the mozzarella sheet and pull up the sides of the burrata as if you work going to make a sachet. You can tight a knot or pull off a piece and tuck it under. Then put the burrata into a cool saltwater brine to set. It is said that Italians used to brine the mozzarella in ocean water if that give you an idea of how salty your brine should be. Pull out the mozzarella from the brine about twenty minutes before serving.
I would suggest filling it with some confit tomatoes with basil pesto, or some crushed peaches with mint. I guarantee that your guests have not witnessed or indulged in a stuffed burrata. This stuffed burrata recipe is the “Public Display of Affection” of the curd world. Serve with some good quality olive oil, sea salt and grilled bread.