In the past when I’ve made the classic tiramisu with Kahlua and espresso, the price of the mascarpone just kills me. Ridiculous to pay $8-$10 for a little tub of cheese.
I set out to make my own, then. So simple! Just heavy cream and lemon juice. Yep. That’s it. Granted, heavy cream costs a pretty little penny, too, but if you buy the half gallon of cream at Smart and Final, about $7, you can make mascarpone galore (and buckets of ice cream, too).
The mascarpone recipe calls for an 8-12 hour straining session of the cream. Well, mine wasn’t looking like mascarpone after 12 hours–still too “wet” rather than ultra thick and creamy.
I nearly tossed it in the trash and considered it a failure, but then I remembered reading about someone whose bread didn’t rise properly even after several hours, so she left the dough overnight and magically it did its rising thing. So, I placed the straining setup back in the fridge and left it overnight. In the morning, I had magic! The cream had metamorphosed into a thick, creamy mascarpone that was perfect for the Limoncello Tiramisu I had planned.
- 3 cups heavy pasteurized cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, heat cream over medium heat to 190 degrees F, which is a beginning simmering stage with lots of tiny bubbles. This should take 12-15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching the cream on the bottom of the pan.
- Add 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice; stir and continue to heat cream for an additional 5 minutes, turning heat down a bit to keep temperature at 190 degrees F. The cream should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove cream from heat; allow to cool to room temperature, about 30-45 minutes.
- Place a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth or a floursack over an empty bowl. Add the cream, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours (or longer if it still looks too “wet”; I strained mine for about 24 hours). After straining, discard the liquid (whey). Transfer mascarpone to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
SOURCE: Pastry Affair