Much easier to make than it might seem, homemade mascarpone is a tastier and less expensive alternative to a store-bought cheese. It’s marvelous with ripe summer berries, finally appeared at our farmer’s markets.
Makes about 12 oz
- 500 ml whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time). Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours.
The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.
February 15, 2020 at 9:35 pm
I am currently working on a wedding cake and need to make 14lbs of Marscapone cheese, and without breaking my clients’ bank. So imagine my amazement and relief when I saw your recipe. I was just wondering if I am able to easily scale this up and that the recipe given can act as a ratio formula, or will I have to stick with small batches?
December 24, 2019 at 10:10 am
I’m having the same problem
November 19, 2015 at 6:34 am
I’ve tried this twice, once doing it this way and once just heating the cream in a pot, no water bath…both times were a total and complete failure. I used a thermometer and heated it to 190, left it even longer than 15 minutes, nothing happened. Added the lemon juice, added a little more when still nothing happened. It did not thicken even one little bit, not even the batch that actually boiled a bit. I eventually took it off and put it in the cheese cloth, it ran straight through…absolutely no change in consistency from when I originally poured the cream out of the container. The container said pasteurized but did not say ultra-pasteurized. Very frustrating. I wasted a whole quart of heavy cream then had to go spend the money on real mascarpone anyway. I cook a lot, in fact I teach high school cooking classes, but this left me feeling like a dummy. Wish I knew what the problem was.
December 2, 2014 at 3:37 pm
I can’t wait to try this! I love mascarpone (but not the price). This is awesome! Thank you for sharing.
July 3, 2014 at 11:37 am
I made this cheese and it is delicious!!!
March 31, 2014 at 10:17 pm
I’ve tried it before and its delicious :) thank you for the recipe. I want to double it now, can you tell me if i need to double the lemon juice as well or do i use the same amount?
March 20, 2014 at 10:06 am
If only I ate cheese,
March 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm
It s good to see so many happy respondents here. You mentioned somewhere that full fat cream can be used. Is it same as heavy/ double cream?
October 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm
I have made this delicious recipe twice. The first time I used the water under the pan method. It took at least twenty-five minutes. Today, I simply brought the cream to a boil, stirring almost constantly, put in the lemon juice and then simmered it for a few minutes……So much easier.
October 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Vera, loved the recipe and it is just perfect. I have done twice and it improved a lot the second time specially I have used coffee filter instead of the cheesecloth. Thank you so much :)
September 20, 2013 at 11:17 am
Hi can I use a muslin cloth instead of a cheesecloth?
September 19, 2013 at 10:09 am
Can I know for how long this mascarpone will last in the fridge? please :-)
September 19, 2013 at 10:07 am
Can I know for how long his mascarpone will last in the fridge? please! :-)
August 15, 2013 at 11:40 am
Watched an Iron Chef with mascarpone the other night and wanted to try it! Sigh … not available anywhere near where I live (no real surprise there).
Just doing a random search … found this and was THRILLED. Lots of good reviews so I’m giving it a try. Lucky for me, no shortage of fresh cream around here though! :)
July 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm
Question… after pouring the cream onto the cheesecloth, there was no liquid oozing through… not a drop. The cream has cooled so I place it into the refrigerator and so it seems to be setting OK… Should I be concerned that there was not liquid coming through the cloth?
Also, what should this cheese taste like? Thanks for your wonderful site!
July 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm
Ronnie, if the mascarpone is setting nicely, you shouldn’t be concerned about whey not pouring. It doesn’t produce much whey anyway. It could be all absorbed by the cheesecloth.
Mascarpone tastes sweet as cream. It doesn’t have a tang that farmer’s cheese has.
July 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm
This looks really great! How much mazcarpone will this make? How many grams?
July 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm
Aneesha, it makes about 12 oz (340 gram).
April 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm
I can’t wait to make this! Thank you so much for the clear directions and explanations.
February 9, 2013 at 10:50 am
Vera, I read Sarah’s question (Sept. 9, 2012) about salvaging the cream with lemon juice. She could have sweetened the mixture and frozen it for lemon sherbet. Crushed pineapple could be added. I never throw anything away.
December 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm
Hi, Vera. I have followed your recipe closely and I succeeded in making mascarpone! Thank you very much! Of course, I have tried making it before and not prevailed, but you never try, you’ll never know.
For those who have doubts, DON’T expect the cream will curdle like yogurt. It will thicken, but not a lot. So if your cream doesn’t curdle like yogurt, don’t think you have failed. Continue the procedure and you will likely succeed. One thing to note too, the whey yield from the cheese won’t be a lot. Depends on the amount of cream you have used, you will yield 1 to 3 tbsp of whey for 500ml to 1000ml of cream. But it is common to have little amount of whey.
December 26, 2012 at 7:28 am
Just wanted to say “Thanks”…could not find whipping cream that was not ultra-pasteurized so I decided to take a gamble and try it anyway. It turned out awesome and the tirimisu was excellent. My italian in-laws were thrilled and licked the bowl clean.
Also, I made the ricotta for the cannolis. What an unbelievable difference it made! Thanks for the excellent recipes! I added the leftover marscapone cheese to the homemade ricotta and then lighten it with a little whipped cream…..divine!
December 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm
I have been searching throughout Google for the longest time to make my own mascarpone/cream cheese, and this absolutely fits my needs! Thank you first of all and second, have you tried this with a non-cow dairy alternative? I tried used canned coconut milk, so far no luck, and currently experimenting with canned goat milk. Being lactose intolerant and gluten allergic my options are very limited. Do you have any tips of the trade?
Any advice is greatly appreciated!
November 2, 2012 at 5:14 am
You need commerical whipped cream to make *Homemade* Mascarpone cheese. Sounds crazy!
Why didnt you start from milk ?
November 2, 2012 at 10:22 am
@Typical, my last comment was a response to the previous commenter who did try to use commercial whipped cream. Nowhere in my recipe I suggest to use it.
September 28, 2012 at 9:47 am
Rams, manufacturing cream has over 40% fat content. That’s why it’s very easy to overwhip and turn it into butter. You don’t have to bring it to the room temperature. Whip it just for a few seconds gently, just to aerate it.
September 28, 2012 at 8:58 am
I tried this couple of times. Everytime it is a disaster. After sitting in the fridge it becomes hard and looks OK. But when i tried to whip it gently at room temperature it becomes grainy. Everytime it is the same problem. My heavy cream doesn’t say the fat content. BUt i’m sure it is not ultra-pasteurized. It says 100% natural manufacturing cream.
Please please help me.
September 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have already been making this for several times and it taste wonderful! However, for some odd reason I find that no matter how long I heat the cream it won’t reach the desired 190F temperature. I settled for 170F and it still turned out lusciously creamy. Please advice if I am doing it wrong despite the favorable results.
September 10, 2012 at 11:37 am
I used the Producers Heavy Whipping Cream.
The box does not state the fat% per se, but the following are nutrition facts:
Serving size 1 tbsp – calories 60, fat calories 50.
Total fat 6 g – 9%
saturated fat 3.5g – 19%
Also, wanted your thoughts on… since the cream is sour due to all the lemon juice I added, can I make sour cream with it?:)
September 9, 2012 at 10:05 am
Thanks for your response.
I meant the cream did not thicken at all and while pouring the cream through the cheesecloth lined sieve.all the cream ended up in the bowl under the sieve.
The cream was not thick enough and poured right through 4 layers of cheesecloth lined sieve.
The cream is indeed sour because of all the lemon juice i added to it.
Do you think this mixture can be repurposed for something besides mascarpone or should i toss it.
Also I used half a gallon of cream, so it would be nice if i can get some use out of it…even if its not mascarpone.
September 9, 2012 at 10:11 am
Sarah, you can use it for making crepes/pancakes or cream scones. What was the fat content of the cream you used? If it had enough fat then I can only think that you underheated it.
September 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm
Thank you so much for this great recipe! Mascarpone cheese is just so expensive! Bless you dear!
September 8, 2012 at 9:20 am
I tried to make the mascarpone, but I made the mistake of making a double boiler out of a dutch oven and an oven safe glass bowl.
I followed your instructions but when the cream did not curdle my first instinct was the temperature was not right and sure enough that was the case.
I then tried to heat it more in the same container with more lemon juice and that did not work then I saw that in one of your replies you mentioned not using a glass container so I switched to a cookware which did warm up the cream nicely yet no curdles.
I tried again with the cream in the cookware on the stovetop instead of the double boiler yet no curdles.
Finally I was so tired I left the cookware with the cream on the countertop overnight and went to bed; it wasn’t a very warm night here in San Francisco bay area.
Now I have a bowl of cream with lots of lemon juice and I don’t know what to do with it.
Can you help salvage the cream or help me make mascarpone out of it?
September 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm
Sarah, if your cream tastes sour now because of the extra added lemon juice, then you won’t be able to make mascarpone out of this (mascarpone is not suppose to taste sour). As for the curdles, I answered many times, that you shouldn’t expect curdling per se. Cream has just to thicken. After overnight refrigeration in the cheesecloth-lined sieve, it should look like mascarpone.
August 9, 2012 at 6:29 am
can i also use fresh cream because where i live 20ml of cream costs $20?????
May 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm
Megan, did your mascarpone thicken to the right consistency? If it didn’t, you most likely undercooked the cream.
May 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm
Hi, i tried your recipe and used 2 coffee filters instead of cheesecloth to sieve. But I didn’t get any whey after overnight in fridge. The coffee filters were damp but no liquid on the bowl used to catch the drip. Please advise. Thanks.
March 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm
Here is my version for this cheese :) I have never tasted it before, so I don’t know how should it really taste? The one I made tastes creamier and buttery.
March 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm
Thanks for reply Vera.
Its soy based, vegetable fat cream. It has 16% of fat. I’ll look out for some fresh cream for cheese and try out panacotta with this non-dairy cream.
Thanks once again I shall post my trial very soon :)
March 12, 2012 at 7:47 am
Vinit, I wouldn’t recommend you to experiment with the frozen not-dairy cream, but the fresh cream will certainly work if it has 34-35 % fat (the whipping cream). You can use any cream to make panna cotta since it’s set with gelatin, but you will get the best flavor from the whipping cream. If you use sweetened cream for panna cotta, adjust the sugar in the recipe accordingly. Hope it helps.
March 12, 2012 at 6:22 am
To add more in above comment, is it ok to use such a cream to make panacotta?
March 12, 2012 at 4:43 am
Thanks a ton for posting this. This cheese is just too much costly, if I am not wrong its about 200Rs/100gms. Phew I can make it at home now :). You have mentioned that cream should be organic (preferably), I have frozen cream and I believe it non-dairy (in-organic) and is sweet as well (I use it for frosting cakes). I don’t think it will be a good choice for making this cheese isn’t it? Can I use packaged fresh cream (one that comes in tetra pack)for this?
March 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm
IME, as I said there were not enough heat, you should have increase the heat under your skillet. My stove is gas one and thus very responsive, but if yours is electric it can be trickier to control the heat. And the most important, the cream will become like mascarpone only after cooling and prolong chilling in a cheese-cloth lined-sieve. Maybe, it’s not too late to try salvage yours? Heat again, cool and chill it in a sieve to give it a chance to thicken.
March 10, 2012 at 11:44 am
Thanks for the response .. I used stainless steel… possible problem?! After all that over an hour of trying to get the cream thicken, I boiled the pot directly on the stove! Then it thickened just a tiny bit, but not enough to become like mascarpone! Anyhow … lesson learned, good luck with your cookings/bakings …