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    How to make Mascarpone Cheese

    Source of Recipe

    Chef Jason Culp

    Recipe Introduction

    Ever since tiramisu became a hit in the United States, the creamy Italian cheese used to make it -- mascarpone -- has been in demand.

    One of the drawbacks is the cost -- a pound can cost from $7 to $8.

    To combat the high costs but still be able to use it in his dishes, chef Jason Culp of the Pines Tavern Restaurant, Pine, and the North Star Market, Richland, experimented until he came up with his own version of mascarpone cheese.

    "We like to use mascarpone, but the costs -- even the wholesale price -- make the retail finished product so much higher for the consumer," said Mike Novak, co-owner of the restaurant and market. "Jason did the research, and through conversations with other chefs, he developed this recipe to be able to deliver a finished restaurant product with a more reasonable table price."

    With Culp's recipe, the cream will cost approximately $2, making the finished product roughly $2 to $2.50 a pound.

    Culp recently showed the Pittsburgh Chapter of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs how to produce their own mascarpone. The process took Culp no longer than 10 minutes. "The most important thing to remember is that it does need to sit for three days before you can use it."

    Steve Jenkins, author of "The Cheese Primer," recommends several uses, including mixing it with anchovies, mustard and other herbs for a topping to spread on breads. He also recommends serving the mascarpone in a bowl with fresh fruit. Just dip the fruit into the cheese and enjoy.

    List of Ingredients

    16 ounces heavy cream (2 cups)
    1/4 teaspoon tartaric acid (see note)
    1/4 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt


    Over a double boiler, heat cream, sugar and salt, whisking constantly until temperature is 180 degrees. (Do not walk away.)

    Remove from double boiler, add tartaric acid, and continue to whisk for 3 minutes.

    Let mixture cool and thicken. Meanwhile, line a fine metal strainer with a thick kitchen towel. Place strainer and towel in bowl large enough to hold strainer.

    Once mixture has cooled slightly, slowly pour into towel-lined strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to remain undisturbed for 3 days.

    Makes approximately 2 cups.

    Note: Tartaric acid is available at wine supply stores. Country Wines and Beer in Ross sells tartaric acid for 89 cents an ounce.




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