DIY Food

How to Make Mascarpone

April 22, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Next up in Mario Batali's How To Tuesdays series? Skip the grocery store -- this spring, we're making our mascarpone at home.

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Come spring, mascarpone is de rigeur. Think of it as the goat cheese of warm weather, the jack of all trades: you know it from tiramisu and cannoli, from summery tomato tarts and herbed omelettes. It's everything we love about crème fraîche -- with an airy Italian accent to boot. But nota bene: we don’t mean any old, watered-down variety from your grocery store. We’re talking only the creamiest of cheeses -- and that's because you're making it.

Luckily, mascarpone is humble to a fault. With just a liter of cream and a scant teaspoon of lemon juice, Pastry Chef Katia Delogu of Eataly shows us how to whip up a fresh batch at home, from stovetop to fridge in less than ten minutes. The hardest part? Letting your cheese drain overnight -- but it's well worth the bright, beautiful mascarpone that will be waiting for you in the morning. 

Got anything you want to learn from the Batali chefs? Let us know in the comments!

This video was made in collaboration with Mario Batali.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Orange Nectar
    Orange Nectar
  • natalie93
  • Vysherwood
  • Marina Oracolo
    Marina Oracolo
  • Jen Cearbaugh
    Jen Cearbaugh
Lisa is a noodle fiend and a chocolate hoarder. She probably wants to make you cookies.


Orange N. May 4, 2014
I had same problem as Natalie93. Anyone have any ideas?
natalie93 April 23, 2014
I tried to make the marscapone today and followed the video. After 9 hours in the fridge, it still seems mostly watery (that is, the cream in the cloth is the same texture as the cream that was strained under the towel/ colander etc.. Did I do something wrong? If so is it possible to save this mixture by using it in something else? I would love to try the recipe again if I did make an error.
Vysherwood April 23, 2014
Hi- I'd love to know how to make the pizza that's served at Eataly :-)
Marina O. April 22, 2014
Hi, I just wanted to point out that mascarpone is not used in cannoli. Cannoli are filled with fresh goat ricotta (whipped). Great tip about the homemade mascarpone though! Thank you.
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
Ricotta is indeed the traditional choice here -- but we've also seen many a rogue cannoli with mascarpone, like this one: Don't tell Nonna!
Marina O. April 23, 2014
Oh my :D We really have to hide that to any Sicilian person! ;) Looks yummy anyway ahah
Jen C. April 22, 2014
You can use the leftover whey to lactoferment vegetables. Preserves them, makes them more nutritionally available, and tastes delicious.
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
Great tip, Jen!
vlucky April 22, 2014
By cream, can I assume you mean heavy cream?
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
You got it!
Diana M. April 22, 2014
what can you do with the drainage?
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
You can make my favorite drop biscuits (! Here's our complete guide to that leftover liquid (aka whey):
Melanie B. April 22, 2014
How long would this keep in the fridge and what is the best way to store it?
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
Homemade mascarpone keeps for about a week. Any airtight container will do, but I have a soft spot for these:
Roland H. April 22, 2014
A couple of questions:
1) How much mascarpone cheese can one make with 1 liter of cream?
2) Is that a cheese cloth that is used to keep the cheese as it is being drained?
3) I assume you add the lemon juice after the cream reaches 85 degrees F. Do you continue to cook it on high for about 5 minutes? Is there a certain temperature the mixture should reach before taking it off the stove?

Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
Roland, 1 liter (4 cups) of cream makes roughly 3 cups of mascarpone. And yes, that is a cheese cloth!

You're absolutely right -- the lemon juice is added once the cream reaches 85 degrees. Afterward, cooking for 5 minutes on high should be sufficient -- no need to read the temperature twice. Happy cheese making!
Brigit K. May 2, 2014
The cloth used in the video really doesn't look like cheesecloth to me; it looks more like a dish towel. I attempted this recipe as directed and the cream was too thin causing it to pour right through both cheese cloth and a towel. After a little research, I discovered most mascarpone recipes recommend letting the cooked cream cool for about 45 minutes before pouring it into the cloth. Changing these two things (using a towel instead of cheese cloth and letting the cream cool first) made all the difference and the mascarpone then came out perfectly.
Jane April 22, 2014
A topic for a future "how to": how to make tofu. Mine always comes out weak, yellowish, and unappetising looking...not like tofu in the store. Is that normal?
Author Comment
Lisa S. April 22, 2014
Good thinking -- I know your pain! In the mean time, we have a DIY Tofu kit: