As I tested my homemade mascarpone I felt my heart seize up. That's probably because the fat percentage of mascarpone is in the 70%+ range of milk fat. Yeah it's basically milk fat so that means it's really good, but probably not something I will eat or make on a regular basis. Having said that, it's really easy to make; I managed to make it successfully my first time around, which is rare.
Mascarpone is an Italian soft, curd cheese and is made in a similar manner as ricotta cheese. It is from the Lombardy region in Northern Italy and is used in savory and sweet Italian dishes.
2 cups whipping cream
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1. Pour the whipping cream into the top of a double boiler with a thermometer and turn the heat on. The first step is to heat the cream up to 190 degrees fahrenheit. My guess is that this denatures the milk proteins much like it does when making yoghurt.
2. Once your cream reaches this temperature, add the lemon juice and stir.
You are cooking it until it becomes thick and coats the back of the
your spoon. I don't think I cooked mine long enough so if you take the picture below as an example, cook until it is thicker than mine.
3. Once it is cooked, take it off the heat and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. As it was cooling, I lined my sieve with 8! layers of cheesecloth and placed it over a bowl. I tried with four as in the original recipe but the cream poured right through. Once I doubled up the cheesecloth, it worked better. This is what makes me think my cream wasn't thick enough.
4. After the cream is in the cheesecloth, throw everything into the fridge overnight. When you wake up you will have a bowl of deliciously, luscious mascarpone.
The mascarpone tastes like slightly sour, thickened whipping cream - makes sense because that's all it is. I ate mine on a bagel with strawberry-ginger jam and what a way to start my day! It is really ultra, crazy decadent and is probably not a good food for those on calorie-restricted diets. For the odd special occasion though, go to town!
I had a girlfriend over for dinner over the Easter long weekend and we ate pistachio ice cream topped with mascarpone and my rosewater & cubeb pepper dulce de leche with chopped pistachios on top. It was really out of this world.
History of mascarpone