Homemade Mascarpone Cheese... Some time ago, I stumbled upon a blog that featured a homemade recipe for mascarpone cheese. I hadn't tried making my own mascarpone cheese at home yet. I guess I always found a way to substitute for the "real" thing... But recently I found myself with quite a bit of whipped cream in the fridge...and I really wanted(needed) to use it up. So when I found out that mascarpone can be made at home, I instantly decided to make it. Plus, all I needed was just some heavy cream and a bit of lemon juice... and I had all that.
Making mascarpone cheese isn't difficult to make...it's sort of like when you make your own ricotta or paneer cheese at home. The process is quite similar, except in this case you won't have too much whey. The mixture will have more of a thick consistency(custard-like) and you won't see the usual curds you normally get with ricotta or paneer cheese....at least I didn't:).
Now, most recipes have you heat up the cream to 185-190 deg F, and they usually heat the cream in a double boiler(bain marie). I didn't really have too much success with heating it in a double boiler...I had a hard time bringing the cream mixture to the required 190 deg. F...it stayed at 155 deg. F. for the longest time. And I mean a LONG time. More than the usual 15 minutes it takes to bring it up to that temp. So, I had to change things up a bit. I ended up pouring the mixture in a regular pot, heating the mixture on low heat, and then it came up to 190 deg. F. You do need to heat the mixture GENTLY... definitely do not want any scorching, curdling or boiling going on. For now, I think I will do away with the bain marie... and gently heat it in a regular pot. It is important to stir it often, so as not to scorch.
So if you have some heavy cream that needs to be used up, why not make some mascarpone cheese? You could use it in all sorts of dishes...in savory sauces, in desserts, or even on scones with a bit of jam:). Hope you enjoy...
NOTE: The first photo is of the mascarpone after an overnight drain...The second photo is after a couple of a days of refrigeration and whisked a bit.
Tip: The longer you let the mascarpone drain in the fridge the "drier" it becomes.
You will need: inspired by Island Vittles ~will yield 8-9 oz of mascarpone cheese
1 pint(473 ml) heavy cream*
1 TBS lemon juice
* organic pasteurized cream is preferred, but since I couldn't find any, I simply used an ultra-pasteurized heavy cream
1. Line a large bowl with a dampened cloth...I used a flour sack towel that I just keep for dairy making, but you can use several layers of cheese cloth. You want it to be a thick layer of cloth because the mixture is creamy and not so curd-like and if it isn't thick you will lose some of the cheese along with the whey. Set it aside.
2. In a heavy pot, add cream and heat on low till cream reaches 190 deg F.(you can do this in a bain marie, if you like). Stir often so as not to scorch.
3. When cream reaches 190 deg take off heat and stir in lemon juice. Keep stirring until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon...about a minute or so.
4. Let mixture sit for about 20 minutes to cool down ... do not stir.
5. Pour cooled mixture in cloth-lined bowl. Wrap up ends of the cloth and suspend over the bowl. You can place a chopstick( or wooden spoon) through the knot and place it over the bowl, making sure the bottom of the cloth doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
6. Refrigerate overnight.
7. Remove cheese from cloth and stir. If you want it thicker, you can whisk it a bit to thicken...see my second photo in the beginning of the post.
The cheese should stay fresh in the fridge for a week or so.