Mascarpone is a wonderful delicacy. Its smooth, creamy texture is a central ingredient in tiramisu, and it can also be used in risotto and pasta dishes or as a spread. The problem with delicacies like this is their high cost. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that mascarpone is easy to make. Actually, that’s an understatement. It’s nearly effortless, and it contains just two ingredients. The hardest part of the process for me was tracking down cream that wasn’t ultra-pasteurized. After consulting several different recipes, I learned that mascarpone requires cream that is pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized, although I imagine raw cream would work well too. My mainstream grocery stores only carry ultra-pasteurized cream, but luckily a trip to Whole Foods yielded more than one option for pasteurized cream.
2 cups pasteurized heavy cream
1 tbs. lemon juice
- In a medium pot, heat the cream to 190 degrees.
- Add the lemon juice. Continue to simmer the cream for 5 minutes at 190 to 200 degrees, stirring constantly. The cream will thicken a bit, but it won’t separate like it does when you make homemade ricotta.
- Remove the cream from the stove and let it cool for 45 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.
- Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line the bowl with several layers of cheesecloth, or my favorite, butter muslin. (I love this muslin because it’s more tightly woven than traditional cheesecloth and it can go in the washing machine.)
- Pour the cream into the strainer and cover. Strain the mascarpone in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours, until it reaches the consistency you want. Transfer it to an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This recipe yields 12 ounces of mascarpone and it costs $3.36. This quantity of store-bought mascarpone costs $7.49, more than twice the price of the homemade version. Homemade mascarpone is so simple to make, and you will love its creamy, delicious flavor.
If saving money on real food is a goal of yours, I recommend you also try your hand at homemade ricotta cheese and homemade yogurt. Homemade ricotta costs less than half what you’d pay for the store-bought version, and homemade yogurt costs four times less than what you buy at the store.
Stay tuned for a fun, unique dessert recipe with mascarpone that I’ll be posting later this week.
Linking to Fat Tuesday.