It has been both interesting and at times exciting to watch the range of lactose-free dairy products expand over the years. When I first discovered lactose was an issue for me, I could find UHT milk and cream, but that was about it. Now there is fresh milk in skim, low fat and full cream varieties. Fresh cream is also easy to find, although only reduced fat where I live. Cheddar cheese is available and the most exciting for me, lactose-free ice cream! Even with all these great lactose-free dairy products, there are still others I miss, particularly soft cheeses.
So, I decided to try an experiment. After doing a bit of research I learned that it is possible to make soft cheese at home with just a few ingredients. Regular soft cheeses are quite high in lactose and can be problematic for those of us who malabsorb this FODMAP. With imaginations of tiramisu and creamy pasta and risotto, I got to work on my first batch of mascarpone.
Lactose Free Mascarpone Recipe
The ingredients are simply cream and lemon juice.
I started with two 300ml pots of lactose-free cream, but given that it was lower in fat than the regular cream I wasn’t sure it would work.
A few particular pieces of equipment are required including a candy thermometer and something to strain the cheese in.
The cream is gently heated to 80-85°C in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. At this stage I stirred in 1½ tablespoons (30ml) of lemon juice, causing the cream to thicken and start to separate.
After allowing the cream to cool to room temperature I chilled it in the fridge overnight. The cream thickened even more and I could tell this was going to work well.
What would you do with your own batch of mascarpone?