Mascarpone (mahs-car-PO-nay) is probably best known as an ingredient used in tiramisu. It’s also sometimes used in lieu of butter to thicken rissoto.
I hadn’t made anything with mascarpone before, but I have tasted it in tiramisu I’ve enjoyed in restaurants for dessert. For the February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge, we made tiramisu and part of the challenge was making our own mascarpone for the luscious Italian dessert. The process was very easy and without incident. I will definitely be making my own mascarpone again.
- I could not find whipping cream that was not ultra-pasteurized, nor could I find “organic” cream. I used ultra-pasteurized and it turned out excellent.
- If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use a clean cotton dish towel OR cotton dinner napkin (that you won’t be using again as a dinner napkin) that will be large enough to function as a sieve.
Makes about 12 ounces
2 cups (1 pint) of whipping cream – 36% pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Ingredients for mascarpone.
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15-20 minutes of delicate heating.
Add lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently until the cream curdles. The whipping cream will become thicker and should evenly and thickly cover the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove the bowl from the water and cool for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface. Once cooled completely, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours. The next day, remove mixture from the bowl and sieve, transferring it to another bowl. Your mascarpone will be removable as once solid piece. Stir it to reveal its creamy consistency.
The mascarpone covers the back of a wooden spoon – a test for doneness.