Less famous than the other cheese board favorites, such as cheddar and parmesan, mascarpone has a separate fan base.
Bakers love Mascarpone because it is the key ingredient in desserts like cheesecake and tiramisu. Mascarpone does wonders with savory items such as risotto, creamy pasta, and soups.
You don’t use mascarpone in large quantities, because people often throw away the leftover even though it is an expensive cheese. Wasting this Italian cheese is a waste considering it can be included in many recipes.
If you don’t feel like cooking another dish, you might want to know if you can freeze mascarpone cheese. Luckily for you, yes! You can freeze mascarpone cheese.
You can take advantage of your leftover mascarpone, freeze it for later use, and add it to your dishes to make them extra-creamy and delicious.
But, it is essential to follow the correct steps for freezing and defrosting the mascarpone, or you end up with a lumpy, curdled mess that is inedible and can result in digestive issues.
Continue reading to learn how to freeze mascarpone cheese and maintain its rich buttery texture and Italian flavor.
What Is Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone cheese is a thick, spreadable, fresh cream cheese with Italian roots and a sweet and tart flavor (1). The texture is light, buttery, creamy, and velvety and is a delight to spread.
It can be used as a substitute for cream cheese even though it is richer in texture and sweeter in flavor. The creaminess of mascarpone makes the savory dishes surprisingly rich.
This ivory-colored cheese has a high-fat content, resulting in separation from the water during freezing. In that case, you’ll have to follow certain steps to restore its creaminess.
What to Expect When Freezing Mascarpone Cheese?
The high water and fat content of mascarpone make it easy to freeze.
Whether alone or cooked, or baked in a dish, mascarpone cheese can be frozen and re-eaten. However, the same water and fat content can separate and result in a crystallized, watered-down, dried, or lumpy mess that is equal parts unappetizing to look at, cook with, and impossible to eat.
Once you know the proper method, freezing mascarpone becomes easy.
How Can You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese?
The shelf life of refrigerated mascarpone cheese is 5 to 7 days. If you plan on freezing your left-over mascarpone, do so within that time frame.
If the refrigerated mascarpone has separated from the water, give it a brisk stir to combine it before chucking it in the freezer. If you follow the proper steps, the mascarpone’s high water and fat content will ensure a smooth freeze.
Mascarpone tends to split when left standing and it does not freeze well when separated. Give it a strong whisk to combine its constituents after natural separation.
If you have a large quantity of mascarpone, divide it into regular-sized portions. This way, you’ll be able to defrost as much as you need, and the rest of the cheese will stay safe.
Pack your mascarpone into freezer bags and squeeze the bags to remove excess air. Wrap these bags in aluminum foil to protect against freezer burns.
The wrapped freezer bags will go in airtight containers to prevent any accidental squishing.
Once fully packed, label the container and date it. This is extremely important, so you’ll know how long the frozen cheese is edible. This step prevents food poisoning, so do not overlook it.
Place the container near the freezer walls so the mascarpone can freeze quickly without letting the ice crystals form and destroy its texture.
How to Defrost Mascarpone
Dairy products are tricky to freeze and thaw, and mascarpone is no different. The sensitivity to temperature changes can affect the taste and consistency of mascarpone while defrosting.
The taste and consistency will go downhill the longer it stays frozen. Hence, it is recommended to use the frozen mascarpone quickly after defrosting to enjoy the creamy texture.
Here’s what you need to do to thaw the mascarpone:
- Transfer the frozen mascarpone from the freezer to the fridge when you want to use it, ideally 12 hours before cooking time.
- Hastening the thawing process will destroy the velvety texture of the cheese and may make it inedible to eat.
- Once the cheese has defrosted, transfer it to a bowl and use a whisk or spoon to stir it vigorously to combine the separated particles.
- When the cheese achieves its true consistency, it becomes ready to use.
How Can You Use Frozen Mascarpone Cheese?
Even though people usually think of cheesecakes and tiramisus when they hear the words mascarpone cheese, there are plenty of savory recipes made using this cheese.
This sweet and creamy cheese can be incorporated into the following recipes:
- Scrambled eggs
- Shepherd’s pie
- Pizza topping
- Mashed potatoes
- Pizza Sauce
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Parsnip risotto
- Fresh Tomato soup
- Cauliflower mascarpone gratin
- Mascarpone spinach pasta
- Three cheese lasagna
- Shaved asparagus galette
Can You Refreeze Mascarpone Cheese?
Now that we’ve established the fact that mascarpone tends to separate when left standing for long. Its high water and fat content undergoes separation and messes up the texture.
Once you freeze it, you have to follow certain steps to return it to its original and intended state. This sensitivity to freezing does not make it an ideal candidate for refreezing.
A good whisk can return the fat and water to mix and form the creamy texture of this cheese but freezing it more than once will definitely not work, and the cheese will go bad.
Another reason why refreezing is frowned upon is that it allows the formation of bacteria in the food, and putting that bacteria in the freezer can destroy the rest of the frozen food and be harmful to the whole family.
So, it is recommended to freeze the foods in portions and only thaw the amount you need for cooking. The left-over thawed food should be discarded.
How Long Can You Freeze Mascarpone Cheese?
Frozen mascarpone can last up to four months, but, like all frozen foods, it loses its quality and flavor the longer it stays in the freezer.
If you want to enjoy your mascarpone cheese’s actual taste and texture, you should consume it fresh or within a month of freezing it.
Freezing in portions comes in handy, and you’ll only thaw the quantity you require in a particular dish, and the rest of the frozen cheese will be salvageable at a later date.
Factors to Consider Before Freezing Mascarpone Cheese
Not everything can be just chucked into the freezer and taken out when needed. There are a few factors that need considerable attention before freezing mascarpone cheese.
Taking note of these will ensure you enjoy the frozen cheese as much as the fresh version.
- The first thing to consider is that mascarpone should always be frozen in portions. Once you’ve defrosted the mascarpone cheese, it cannot be refrozen. Portioning it in the start prevents waste.
- For portioning, use multiple freezer bags until all the cheese is packed. Or divide the quantity according to separate dishes and their requirements.
- If your tiramisu or cheesecake requires 250 grams of mascarpone cheese, you can separate that quantity and label it with the dish’s name and the storage date before freezing it. That way, you will only need to remove that particular portion and thaw it to make your dessert.
- Mascarpone does not have a strong taste. In fact, it is practically tasteless. Freezing impacts the taste of products, so it is inadvisable to freeze them. But, in the case of mascarpone, importance is given to its consistency which makes the dishes creamy and smooth.
- The final consideration is to be mindful of the best-before date. If you know you will use the mascarpone within 4 to 5 days of opening the package, there’s absolutely no need to freeze it. However, if you plan to use it after a week, you can freeze it in portions.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
Is mascarpone cheese similar to cream cheese?
The textures of these kinds of cheese might look similar to the untrained eye, but mascarpone is velvety, richer, and 20% creamier than cream cheese.
Can I freeze mascarpone whipped cream following the method of freezing mascarpone cheese?
Yes, you can follow the exact steps of freezing mascarpone cheese to freeze the mascarpone whipped cream.
Which cheese is tangier? Mascarpone or cream cheese?
Cream cheese tends to be tangier than mascarpone cheese.
What are some of the ways Mascarpone Cheese can be used?
As a coffee topping: You can add a dollop of mascarpone cheese into your coffee and enjoy it with a dessert.
As a waffle topping: Your homemade, maple-syrup-drenched waffles can enjoy an upgrade in flavor if you pair them with a layer of mascarpone cheese. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
As a spread: Swap the butter with mascarpone and spread it over your toast, muffins, and scones, and enjoy the cheesy goodness.
As it is: Take a spoonful of mascarpone in a bowl. Mix in honey and add some diced fresh fruits. Enjoy this dip with raspberries, strawberries, or other fruits.