Before we get to the homemade mascarpone recipe, let’s first be clear about what exactly mascarpone is. It is a rich, creamy, knee-wobblingly luscious fresh cow milk cheese from Italy that’s perhaps most commonly experienced stateside in tiramisu. This recipe makes a sorta cheater’s stand-in for proper Italian mascarpone that we guarantee will impress even your fussiest friends. (Not that we recommend trying to impress fussy people. Life is too darn short for that crap.)–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC What To Do With Your Mascarpone Note
Not only is this homemade mascarpone recipe ridiculously indulgent, it’s easy as heck to make. And—yes, there’s more!—it’s an insanely satiating way to salvage the last dregs of heavy cream languishing in the fridge. Just add a bit of lemon juice to the cream and you’ve got homemade mascarpone. Works like a charm. Honestly? There’s nothing we can think of that isn’t made more charming by a dollop of mascarpone. Read on for some things we’ve done with mascarpone lately.
Plop atop a bowl of in-season berries.
Slather on a peach half, sprinkle with light brown sugar, and broil until bubbly.
Stir in a little marsala or tawny port and serve with fresh figs.
Cram it inside pitted dates, roast for 5 minutes in a 425°F (218°C) oven, and sprinkle with coarse salt and olive oil.
Fold it into lemon curd and use as pie filling,
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 8 H
- Makes 1 cup
Special Equipment: Candy or deep-fry thermometer; cheesecloth or flour sack towel (optional)
- 2 cups (16 ounces or 475 milliliters) heavy cream (non-homogenized pasteurized cream is best)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Fine sea salt
- 1. In a small nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat, gently bring the cream to the point where bubbles just begin to appear. (This could take as long as 25 minutes.) Do not allow the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the lemon juice and salt, and gently simmer the cream for 5 to 7 minutes as you maintain a temperature of 185°F (85°C). Remove from the heat, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- 2. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, a flour sack towel doubled over itself, a couple paper coffee filters, or a double layer of thick, damp paper towels. Without stirring, gently tip the cream into the lined sieve, letting everything run into the bowl below. Sprinkle a small pinch salt over the cream. Cover and refrigerate the bowl-and-sieve contraption for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The mixture will slowly yet surely turn into a rich, creamy, velvety smooth concoction that seems a lot like softened cream cheese and is, in fact, nearly identical to actual mascarpone that’s made and cultured in Italy.
- 3. Remove the mascarpone from the sieve by lifting the cheesecloth or flour sack towel or coffee filters or paper towels by the corners and twisting them to form a packet. Discard the whey, which is the liquidy stuff in the bowl. Mascarpone will keep, wrapped in the cheesecloth in a covered glass or ceramic bowl in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. Wipe away any collected whey in the bottom of the dish daily to keep the cheese fresh.
Small Batch Homemade Mascarpone Variation
- Anxious about having an entire batch of homemade mascarpone on hand with no one standing between you and the fridge? Frustrated that someone used some of the heavy cream you were saving for this recipe in their coffee? Not to worry. You can make a mere fraction of this recipe. Simple get out your pen and paper and your 4th-grade math skills and figure out the proper amounts. It’ll work just fine.