Recipe by Elizebett Rocha Bento Eslinger
With a few simple tools and ingredients, you can make fresh cheese at home. For years, I’ve made queijo fresco, a fresh, soft, and moisture-rich Portuguese cheese. Recently, I learned how to make mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone is a rich, thick, and creamy Italian cheese. It’s one of my favorite creamy cheeses, but it can sometimes be hard to find at the store. What a delight to know it’s so easy to make at home! Mascarpone is versatile. You can spread it on crusty bread, include it in sweet and savory baked delights, whip it into frostings, and more.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp fine salt (or to your taste)
DirectionsBefore you start cooking, prepare the following:
- A large bowl with plenty of ice for an ice bath. The bowl should be large enough to hold your medium saucepan.
- Line a sieve with a cheesecloth. Place the lined sieve in a bowl that is slightly larger than the sieve.
- In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a simmer (if using a thermometer, ~185 degrees F) over medium low heat. Stir regularly so it doesn’t scorch or burn.
- Add the lemon juice and use a whisk to stir constantly for about 10 minutes (maintaining the simmer or ~185 degree temperature). The mixture should be thicker than when you first started stirring, though it will still be a liquid.
- Transfer the pan to an ice bath, add the salt, and continue stirring the mixture for another 10 minutes. You should start to notice the mixture thickening even more. Note: keep the saucepan above the water, so no water gets inside your creamy mixture.
- Pour the cream mixture into the prepared cheesecloth/sieve. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, the cream mixture should have released whey into the bowl. You should now have a thick, mascarpone cheese left in the cheesecloth!
- This recipe yields about 1 cup of cheese. Cover and store the cheese in an airtight container for 3-5 days.