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I've found mascarpone cheese can be pricey. What would be a good (in taste and price) substitute?

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The specific application would be for a dessert with peaches and mascarpone, using this recipe: cookstr.com/recipes/peaches-with-mascarpone –  JustRightMenus Jul 17 '10 at 4:21
    
technically speaking, is mascarpone a cheese? –  Midhat Sep 19 '11 at 1:39
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7 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

I found a highly rated mascarpone cheese substitute recipe on food.com. I haven't personally tried it, but it's highly rated on that site, and is ridiculously simple.

  • 1 16 oz block of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Blend until smooth

Try it and let us know? :)

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That is definitely quite like mascarpone! I went ahead and bought mascarpone, despite the cost, as a special treat for some guests. I also mixed up some of this substitute. VERY similar. In fact, my husband didn't like the actual mascarpone b/c he said it tasted like cream cheese. –  JustRightMenus Jul 30 '10 at 20:01
    
@JustRightMenus: Great! I'm glad it worked for you. I'll make sure to use this if I ever need to sub mascarpone. –  hobodave Jul 30 '10 at 20:47
    
I made tiramisu using fat free cream cheese and fat free sour cream in place of the marscapone (I did use the heavy whipping cream) and it turned out great. –  user15423 Jan 24 '13 at 17:14
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8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese blended with 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of full-fat sour cream make a decent replacement for mascarpone. A tip: don't try to blend the ingredients when the cream cheese is stone cold!

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+1 to offset @hobodave .. the ingredients are the same, but the proportions are different, plus the "full fat" advisories, which are (unfortunately) helpful in this age of reduced-fat everything! –  tomjedrz Jul 17 '10 at 5:11
    
Thanks tomjedrz. I didn't think his answer deserved to stay at -1. I just want to get the message across that the community benefits from more variation in answers. This particular one on it's own is insignificant, but in light of his trend I thought I should point it out. –  hobodave Jul 17 '10 at 5:16
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I thought it would be worth the questioner's time to have a recipe that I've used before with good results, and I expect that should a questioner receive several, similar answers, it can only make him or her feel more confident about making use of the advice. It's my first day on the site, and I was excited to see questions that I knew I could answer; I opened them in tabs and took them one at a time without refreshing the pages. Granted, I can see now why refreshing the pages is a good idea, but if I feel I've something useful to say, I'm going to say it without fear of being repetitive. –  Iuls Jul 17 '10 at 5:24
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@hobodave You really shouldn't make assumptions about people's gender or sex. –  Chas. Owens Jul 17 '10 at 5:26
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It depends on the application. Try ricotta (much lower fat, so may not be suitable for some recipes) or a mixture of ricotta and generic cream cheese.

It's pretty easy to make your own ricotta, also, if you want to get into that.

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She said taste and price. Ricotta definitely does not taste like mascarpone. The texture is entirely different as well. –  hobodave Jul 17 '10 at 4:21
    
I agree but based on my experiences ricotta is a good substitute to mascarpone in many recipies, especially desserts. Besides, I'd rather accept a slightly different taste than use some weird mix. –  loscuropresagio Feb 14 '12 at 22:25
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Really, really good thick Greek yoghurt. Might not bake like mascarpone, but it certainly acts like it when you spoon it over a dessert.

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I bought some mascarpone and tried the cream cheese (full fat) substitute side by side. Cream cheese was creamier. The mascarpone definitely had a grainier texture, sort of like ricotta. I will play with it a bit, but I think mixing about half and half to 1/3,2/3 ricotta and the cream cheese sour cream mixture would hit it right on the head.

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Why not make your own? 1 litre of cream makes about 750gm of mascarpone. Pretty easy, but best to have a cooking thermometer.

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Can you elaborate on how you can make your own? –  Mien May 19 '13 at 8:00
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There is an excellent page that describes how to make your own Mascarpone Cheese with just milk and culture at "http://www.cheesemaking.com/Mascarpone.html" The cheese is very good, and inexpensive.

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