Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homemade Mascarpone

You can pinch yourself. You're not dreaming.
You can really make this stuff at home.

(I kinda sounded like an infomercial there.)

All it takes is a lot of cream.
The good stuff. At least 25% milk fat.
You heard me: twenty five percent milk fat.

A lemon.
Some cheese cloth.
A candy thermometer and patience.
I bet the most difficult thing to come by in this list is patience. I know that all too well....*sigh.

I found the mascarpone a bit on the lemony side (go figure....) but I believe you can substitute ¼ tsp of citric acid for the lemon juice if you don't want that little bit of lemon flavor. I haven't tried the citric acid yet but I did research it for the next time I make mascarpone. If you do try it, leave me a comment and let me know how it works out for you.

Mascarpone is a soft creamy cheese that is delicious in desserts. (Did you catch that? I'm foreshadowing a recipe to come.... make the cheese and you'll be ready for it!)

Homemade Mascarpone
Makes: about 1 cup

1L heavy cream (at least 25% milk fat)
1 lemon

candy thermometer
large sieve

1. In a medium size saucepan slowly heat the cream, stirring constantly, until it reaches 190 degrees.
2. Squeeze lemon to extract 2 tbsps of juice. Line your sieve with about 4 layers of cheesecloth and set it over a large bowl. 
3. Add the lemon juice and continue to stir until the cream slightly thickens.(Should coat the back of a spoon.) Set the cream aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
4. Pour the cream into sieve and let completely cool. Place bowl and sieve in the refrigerator overnight.
5. By morning, the whey will have completely separated leaving you with a bowl of fresh, creamy, mascarpone. Place in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Best used with 1 week.

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