Mascarpone Cheese Making Recipe

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Mascarpone is a double or triple cream cheese made from cow’s milk. It originated from the Lombardy region of Italy in the late 16th or early 17th century. It’s ivory-colored and ranges in texture from thickened cream to softened butter. It is not traditional cheese making using a starter or rennet, but is heated and acidulated much like making ricotta. The result is a sweet, smooth and creamy product that makes a rich topping for strawberries or a spread for bread when mixed with fresh herbs but it is best known as the primary ingredient in Tiramisu.


  • 1/8 tspTartaric Acid
  • 1 quartlight or heavy cream
  • 1 Tbspdistilled water


Combine tartaric acid with distilled water in a small cup. Be sure acid is completely dissolved.

Place light cream in a double boiler or large bowl set over a smaller pot containing water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Bring the water in the pot to a boil and heat cream until it reaches 185° F. Stir occasionally to evenly distribute heat.

Turn off heat and carefully move the hot bowl of cream from the water pot to a protected countertop.

Stir in dissolved tartaric acid until a fine curd forms. This should be visible around the sides of your bowl. When using light cream, it will look like slightly curdled milk. This will be more pronounced if you are using half-and-half. Let cream cool for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Line a colander with a double layer of fine cheesecloth; place the lined colander over a bowl and pour the cream into the colander. You may have to do this gradually to allow some whey to drain before pouring more. When all has been poured into the strainer, gather the cheesecloth corners and tie a loose knot (or use a short piece of kitchen twine or a twist tie) to secure the cloth.

Lift the colander and discard the whey. Put the colander back into the bowl and place the whole apparatus in the refrigerator, cover and allow draining for 10 hours or overnight.

Remove the cheese assembly from the refrigerator and discard bowl contents. Open the cheesecloth and extract the mascarpone. The cheese should be kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Fresh mascarpone is very perishable and will only keep for up to one week.

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