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Mascarpone Cheese, Homemade

Mascarpone Cheese

Download the recipe PDF. View the YouTube video.

Makes about 28 ounces.
By Dennis W. Viau; adapted from other recipes.

Mascarpone is expensive. Did you know you can make own, and it’s easy?

Here’s another thing about mascarpone: A lot of people incorrectly pronounce it marscapone (with the r in the first syllable). The r is in the second syllable—mascarpone.

I Googled “homemade mascarpone” and found that variations abound. For this recipe I experimented with tartaric acid, lemon juice, white vinegar, and cream of tartar. The results were nearly identical, but if you will use the mascarpone for a dessert, avoid vinegar. The flavor is noticeable.


1 quart (946ml) heavy cream, ultra-pasteurized is okay
½ teaspoon powdered sugar—optional
½ teaspoon salt—optional
½ teaspoon tartaric acid or 1 teaspoon cream of tartar or 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar


If you have a double boiler, use it. You can arrange your own double boiler by using two saucepans, one slightly smaller than the other. Put about 1 to 1½ cups (235-350ml) of water in the larger saucepan and set it over high heat. Bring to a boil. Pour the cream into the smaller saucepan and carefully set it inside the larger pan. The bottom of the smaller pan should rest on the surface of the boiling water without water spilling out. Reduce the heat enough to maintain a simmer in the water.

Use a digital thermometer to monitor the heat of the cream as it warms. At about 120°F (50°C) (no need to be accurate here) add the acid (tartaric, whatever) and the sugar and salt, if you prefer. The cream will immediately start to thicken a little, but not much. Continue heating the cream, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula, to 180°F (80°C). Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally.

Place a large coffee filter (12-cups) inside a sieve resting over a large bowl. Pour the cream into the filter. (If you have too much cream or smaller filters, use a second filter and sieve.) Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about an hour. (You’ll already see whey gathering in the bottom of the bowl.)

Place the wrapped sieve and bowl in the refrigerator and let sit for about 12 hours. (Some recipes call for moving the mascarpone to a second filter/sieve and refrigerating an additional 24 hours.)

Remove the mascarpone from the filter and place in a bowl. Stir it well to blend the consistency (it will be stiff around the edges and moist in the middle). Store in the refrigerator. Use in your favorite recipes.

It will keep for several days in the refrigerator and some web sites say it can be frozen.

You might encounter one problem (I have): The outer portion sets up so well, the center portion cannot drain. Scoop up the wet mascarpone and place in a bowl. Transfer the firm mascarpone to a storage container. Set up a new filter, sieve, and bowl. Pour in the wet mascarpone, cover and let drain overnight.