Mascarpone cheese isn't particularly difficult to make, but it does take a long time. It makes sense to make a large batch and freeze what you won't use within a few days. Commonly used in tiramisu and other decadent desserts, this soft cheese can be used in place of cream cheese when a lighter, fluffier result is desired. Mascarpone cheese and other creamy cheeses and custards aren't considered the best candidates for freezing, because the liquid can separate and the solids can crumble. However, this doesn't mean you can't freeze it, because you can whip the thawed mascarpone to restore its texture.
Leave the cheese in its original packaging, if unopened. If you're freezing leftovers from an opened package, form the mascarpone cheese into a small block or wheel. Form it in the same shape that you would purchase cream cheese in foil packaging or in a plastic tub.
Wrap the cheese tightly in aluminum foil, ensuring that all sides are sealed.
Wrap the foil-wrapped mascarpone in several layers of plastic cling wrap. Hold the cheese in one hand and run the roll of plastic wrap around it several times while keeping it pulled tight.
Place the wrapped mascarpone inside a plastic freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible -- air contributes to freezer burn -- and seal it closed. An easy way to remove air is to seal the bag most of the way and insert a straw to suck out the air through a small opening. Seal the bag quickly as you pull out the straw.
Label the bag clearly with the contents, the storage date and the expiration date, which is about three months after the storage date.
Set the bag in the freezer against a freezer wall for rapid freezing. You can move it elsewhere in the freezer after about 24 hours or when the cheese is frozen solid.
- The extra packaging might seem like overkill, but the triple-layer wrapping provides some moisture-vapor resistance to reduce separation.
- Mascarpone cheese requires some reconstitution before it can be used in recipes. Set it out at room temperature to thaw in its original packing. Unwrap the cheese and place it in a mixing bowl. Fold the separated liquid into the cheese solids and whip it for a few minutes to make it light and fluffy again.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.