Rich and creamy, homemade mascarpone cheese allows you to treat yourself to an elegant ingredient without having to search high and low to locate it!
Have you ever wasted half a day calling numerous grocery stores or driving from market to market to locate just one ingredient? Mascarpone cheese can often be hard to track down, but it’s not difficult to make from scratch!
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
Until Whole Foods and Fresh Market opened locally, foods like mascarpone cheese were impossible to find in our local grocery stores. Making mascarpone from scratch is ridiculously simple, though, and only takes two ingredients and a candy thermometer. So besides sharing some yummy recipes utilizing mascarpone, I also will teach you how to whip it up in your own kitchen!
Yup, me, too. But often the payoff is well worth the hunt. My friend, Erin, made Easy Homemade Ricotta Cheese which would be marvelous in lasagna and even cheesecake. I was inspired to make homemade mascarpone. I’ve used store bought mascarpone in many desserts including Poached Peaches with Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake, Mascarpone Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries (one of my favorite cheesecakes!!), and these elegant Balsamic Raspberries with Mascarpone.
What’s the Difference Between Mascarpone Cheese and Cream Cheese?
Mascarpone cheese is definitely richer than cream cheese as it’s made with heavy cream versus whole milk, giving it a creamier, more luscious texture. You can substitute cream cheese for mascarpone in a pinch, but you must mix in some heavy cream to duplicate the texture.
Known as Italian Cream Cheese, mascarpone hails from the Lombardy region of Italy. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, mascarpone is a buttery, double- or triple-cream cheese made from cow’s milk…which is ivory-colored, soft, and delicate and can be either nearly liquid or similar to butter.
Mascarpone from Scratch
All that’s needed to make homemade mascarpone is heavy cream and lemon juice. Who knew? Take some time to find pasteurized heavy cream not ultra-pasteurized heavy cream. The flavor is fresher and definitely superior, but if you cannot find it, don’t fret. I found mine at Whole Foods but I realize that’s not an option for everyone.
How to Make Mascarpone
- PRO-Tip: As noted above, read the label and track down some pasteurized heavy cream NOT ultra pasteurized. I find it at Whole Foods.
- PRO-Tip: The process is simple. Pour the cream into a saucepan and cook to 190º F, just to a simmer not a rolling boil. Use a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Add lemon juice and cook till thickened.
- Drain in a cheesecloth lined strainer and chill and you’ll have 12 ounces of quality mascarpone for little effort and money.
- PRO-Tip: Store covered in an airtight container. Use your homemade mascarpone cheese within 7-10 days.
More Recipes You’ll Love:
- Homemade Clotted Cream from The View from Great Island
- Individual Tiramisu Parfaits from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mascarpone Strawberry Stuffed French Toast from A Family Feast
- Mascarpone Filled Strawberries from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fried Nectarines with Vanilla Mascarpone from She Wears Many Hats
- Homemade Clotted Cream from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Homemade Mascarpone Cheese
A simple recipe to make mascarpone cheese at home. Adapted from Pastry Affair.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1½ cups 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Simmering
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 cups heavy cream (pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pour cream into a large sauce pan and heat to a simmer (you don’t want it to boil). Stir in lemon juice. With a candy thermometer, monitor the temperature and keep around 190º F. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, till mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Pour through a strainer lined with a double layer of cheesecloth and positioned over a bowl. Flip cheesecloth over top of strainer and refrigerate for 8 hours.
- Scrape cheese from cheesecloth into a storage container and press plastic wrap over the surface.
- Store for up to a week.