Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made by curdling milk with citric acid or acetic acid. It is a thick, soft cheese with a high fat content ranging between 65% and 75%. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes without overpowering the other ingredients of the dish. It is also used to thicken desserts and puddings. It is the cheese that is used in the popular Tiramisu dessert, which brought this cheese to the forefront. It also tastes best with mustard, a variety of spices, cocoa and coffee.
You can find this cheese in our local supermarkets, however they are packaged in really small containers and sold at a high price. Therefore, it is to our advantage to make this at home.The only hard part about this recipe is the waiting. You have to plan ahead since the mascarpone has to sit for at least 8 hours to strain out the whey. Otherwise, it is very simple.
- 2 cups of milk or whipping cream
- 1 lemon, juice freshly squeezed
- In a medium size sufuria, heat the milk over medium high heat until it just begins to froth but not boil. The milk should be at a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the bottom!
- Once this has started to happen, add the lemon juice and stir it in. You will see the milk begin to curdle. Continue to heat at medium high for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir until the milk looks like a cream and thickens enough to coat the back of your mwiko. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on your quantity.
- Place a strainer (or cheesecloth or a few layers of coffee filters) over an empty bowl. I used a strainer that was double lined and it worked fine. 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 tablespoons. When finished straining, transfer the cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator if you are not eating it immediately.
Use your fresh mascarpone cheese within a week.
Sometimes, we have the ability to make all the things we buy from home. With just a bit of curiosity, we can learn how and save a pretty penny in the process. It is my hope that both you and I shall learn many more things to make as we go along.