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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Homemade Mascarpone

I often have trouble finding mascarpone cheese and when I do it is usually outrageously expensive around here, so a few years ago I started making my own! And the taste of the homemade stuff is even better than the store bought stuff and you know exactly what went into it too!

Recently it has been becoming more and more difficult around here to source pasteurized heavy whipping cream, so I am giving you other alternatives too.  The method is always the same Smile
There will always be people that insist that ultra pasteurized cream won’t work. It does, however it has to be at or above 36%. I find that UP cream can however impart a slightly “wrong” taste, which is why I don’t make recipes with all UP cream, even at the 36% butterfat.

So, first of all the original recipe I have used for years:

Homemade Mascarpone

  • ¼ teaspoons Tartaric Acid (available In Health Food Stores, usually in the wine making section) – could also use 2 tbsp FRESH lemon or lime juice
  • 1 quart Pasteurized Heavy Cream (not ULTRA Pasteurized, unless you can find the UP heavy cream 36%*)

You will also need:

Cooking thermometer
Several sheets of cheese cloth

Heat cream in a heavy saucepan to 180 degrees F over medium-high heat, being careful that it does not scorch.
If you’re unsure about this step, you can make a double boiler by placing an oven proof glass bowl on top of a larger pan with water, so that the bowl touches the surface of the water. Boil the water and heat the cream that way. You won’t scorch the cream in a double boiler!
Remove from heat as soon as it comes up to temperature and stir in the tartaric acid. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mix to a glass or plastic container and refrigerate for several hours.
At this point, it should have thickened quite a bit. Set a sieve over a bowl and line it with a triple thickness of cheesecloth or coffee filters and pour in the mascarpone. Fold the excess cheese cloth over the top of your set cream.
Set it in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator and let it drain for another 10 hours.
Remove to a covered container and store in the refrigerator.
Use within one week.

Other combinations to use, depending on what you can get pasteurized and what is cheaper:
1 quart  of pasteurized cream (you can use light cream, as long as it is above 25% butterfat) – will have less yield, but does work!

A combination of :
16 fl oz of pasteurized half and half
16 fl oz of pasteurized heavy cream OR 16 flo oz of 36% ultra pasteurized heavy cream

The yield seems to vary a little, depending on the fat content of the cream/half and half used, but I usually get about 3.5 cups (or more) of mascarpone from a quart of pasteurized heavy whipping cream.


Note to Arizona Residents: I have successfully made Mascarpone with the Walmart brand ultra pasteurized heavy cream (2 cups) and the Bashas' pasteurized half and half (2 cups) It thickens nicely, has a good yield and no funky UP aftertaste! The yield on this combination is usually 3+ cups of mascarpone!

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  1. Birgit,

    What can I use the homemade mascarpone in? Not sure how to search your recipes for that. 3 cups is a lot and you mentioned you have to use it within a week. Thanks!

  2. Hi Nancy! You can use Mascarpone in anything you would use cream cheese in. However, some recipes lend themselves more to the special creaminess of Mascarpone than others. I have several recipes on this blog using the Mascarpone: Tiramisu, 2 types of frostings, Russian Pluckcake and Cheese Cake Pots.

    As for searching this blog, look over on the side bar. Below the archive, you'll see a box that says "Search This Blog". Just type in whatever it is you're looking for, or an ingredient and hit the search button. :)

    I hope that helps!


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Birgit Kerr