With the cost of store-bought mascarpone cheese, there's no reason not to make your own. I use this recipe to make mascarpone when I am putting together a tiramisu for a special occasion.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Yields: About 2 pounds of mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream, pasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1In a large saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reads 190 degrees F (88 degrees C). The cream should be at a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the bottom!
2Stir in the lemon juice and continue to heat at 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The cream should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.
3Place a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth (or a few layers of coffee filters) over an empty bowl. Add the cream, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.
4Allow the cream to strain out for 8-12 hours, preferably overnight. Discard the whey; I only ended up with a couple tablespoons.
5When finished straining, transfer the cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.