Make your own mascarpone cheese its delicious and has a rich creamy texture.
Mascarpone is one of those little secrets that bakeries and restaurants use to get rich cream pastries and meals. Don’t be intimated by what seems foreign mascarpone is just the Italian version of cream cheese. The great thing about making it fresh is you can choose to use lemon juice or butter milk. The lemon version is great in dessert and some savory recipes. The buttermilk version is good for foods that are savory but you decide which you prefer you can’t go wrong with either.
When it comes down to it, mascarpone (pronounced mahs-car-POH-nay) is really just thickened cream that’s one step away from being butter. It’s made from only two ingredients, whole cream and citric or tartaric acid (to thicken the cream). That’s it. The process is so simple you can even make your own at home.
Mascarpone should have a very smooth texture with no lumps or graininess.
The flavor should be milky and slightly sweet, sometimes with a tangy finish. It tends to go bad quickly, so use an open container of mascarpone within a few days.
The closest cousins to mascarpone are English clotted cream and French creme fraiche. However, high-quality creamy ricotta or cream cheese can also be a substitute for mascarpone.
Some of the treats you can make with mascarpone are cannoli, to line a tart or pie shell, pasta dishes, Danish, cakes, quiches, crepes, the French use it in mashed potatoes it can be added in place of sour cream or cream cheese as well.
Homemade mascarpone cheese is so easy, there is no reason to ever buy it again!
You can make your own very easily but you have to start the night before you need to use it in a recipe.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups
2 cups heavy cream, I love using the fresh cream I get at the local dairy (Mill-King) you can use pasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed or 2 Tablespoons Buttermilk
In a large saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium high heat until an instant read thermometer reads 190 degrees F (88 degrees C). The cream should be at a slow simmer. Be careful not to scorch the bottom! Stir in the lemon juice and continue to heat at 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The cream should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Place a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth (or a few layers of coffee filters) over an empty bowl. Add the cream, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the cream to strain out for 8-12 hours, preferably overnight. Discard the whey; I only ended up with a couple of tablespoons. When finished straining, transfer the cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Now you ready for all the tasty recipes that include this great tasting creamy cheese.
Use fresh mascarpone cheese within the week.
Always believe in yourself……
Adapted from a dozen sources, all using the same ingredients in the same amount.