Mascarpone is an Italian acid-set soft cheese. It is very similar to cream cheese, and people use it as a spread on fruits and in recipes for both savory and dessert dishes.
The problem is, you often only use a little cheese for a recipe or spread. It can be hard to use up a whole container in a week, and you might discover that you need to store your mascarpone for a while in between uses. So you might find yourself asking, can you freeze mascarpone?
Absolutely! It is a cheese that does very well when frozen. However, there are a few things you need to know before you toss it in the freezer to make sure it still tastes great when you take it out.
Best Way to Freeze Mascarpone
If you buy mascarpone cheese for later use and want to store it before you open it, you can usually put the pack directly into the freezer without making any changes. If you have already opened and used the spread, you’ll want to take a few more steps to make sure it stays nice.
If you’ve opened the package and stored it in your fridge for a while, you should ensure that you mix the cheese very well before you start the freezing process. Spoon out individual servings of the cheese onto a piece of aluminum foil.
Wrap the foil as tightly as possible to help avoid separation. Then wrap the foil in plastic wrap. The extra plastic wrap helps reduce the possibility of freezer burn.
Now place the wrapped pieces in a plastic freezer bag. Press out all of the air, so there is as little extra air as possible.
For your convenience, remember to label the bag with what it is and the date when you placed it in the freezer. The label can be beneficial because it can be hard to tell what’s in the foil.
When you put the cheese in the freezer, make sure you place it against one of the walls for the first day to freeze thoroughly and quickly. Once it is frozen, you can move the cheese to any part of your fridge.
Can You Use a Vacuum Sealer with Mascarpone?
If you have a vacuum sealer available, it would be a great tool to use when you freeze mascarpone. The vacuum seal will allow the cheese to last longer and keep its original consistency better. Less air will also help your cheese avoid freezer burn.
Vacuum sealing is the reason you can usually put the store-bought package right in the freezer without making any changes. It is a great way to keep the quality of your food even when you freeze it.
How Long Will It Last in the Freezer?
There is a lot of debate about how long items stay good in the freezer, and there is a difference between being safe to eat and eating food of the best quality. You will have the best results for mascarpone cheese if you store it for up to two months frozen.
You might be able to go long for safety, but you will notice the texture change after two months, much more. To make sure you get the most out of the cheese and enjoy your meals with it, you don’t want to keep it much longer.
How Do You Defrost Mascarpone?
You want to start defrosting the cheese with plenty of time because rushing the process will cause the cheese to separate even more. A fast defrost will make the texture of the cheese terrible, and it will lose all its creaminess.
Take the cheese out of the freezer at least twelve hours before you plan on eating it. Place it in the fridge to defrost safely, and wait until the cheese thaws fully.
Before you use the mascarpone, mix it up thoroughly. The better you mix the defrosted cheese, the better it will taste when you eat it. Some people even use an electric mixer to whip up the cheese so that it maintains its consistency.
Can You Refreeze Mascarpone?
Unfortunately, no, mascarpone doesn’t refreeze well at all. The problems with the initial freezing process are exasperated, and the whole thing separates and loses the texture that people love in the cheese.
Once you defrost the cheese, you have to use it up or get rid of it. To avoid waste, you should freeze multiple small servings of the cheese, so you can defrost it as you need it without having to worry about saving it after.
Can You Freeze Dishes That Use Mascarpone Cheese?
Freezing mascarpone dishes can be complicated. You can’t remix all of these recipes to make sure the cheese keeps its form and texture.
Many of the desserts you make with the cheese will freeze fine. When you defrost them, you will probably notice a change in consistency even if you take the proper steps.
If you can live with the mouthfeel change, this can be a great option to keep fun treats on hand, but try it first with a small amount. You can test and see if the food remains excellent and satisfying after freezing.
Mascarpone in lasagna and noodle dishes will taste fine if you let it defrost naturally before warming them up. The extra ingredients usually make the change in texture less noticeable. You still might want to try freezing a smaller portion first to ensure it tastes good thawed.
How Long Does Mascarpone Last in the Fridge?
In the fridge, you have five to seven days to use all of the cheese. It can stay in the refrigerator before and after freezing, so you can wait to freeze the cheese and then keep it for another five days after you defrost it. If you freeze the cheese properly, you can get nearly ten weeks to eat it.
When you store the cheese in the fridge, make sure to mix it thoroughly between every use. You will get the best taste every time, and you won’t end up with extra hard cheese at the bottom of the package.
What If the Mascarpone Molds?
Due to the process that makes mascarpone, it is unlikely to mold as quickly or easily as other cheeses. It is not impossible, and sometimes you will open the package to see green or black spots on top of the cheese. They can even get fuzzy-looking if they have enough time.
Some cheeses just need a little trimming if they start to grow mold, but mascarpone isn’t one of those. If your soft cheese grows mold, it is safer to toss the whole package. The mold can quickly spread throughout the soft cheeses and cause problems for consumers.
Mascarpone cheese can be an incredible treat. It is fun to add to many dishes and items to gain extra texture and flavor. It enhances many sweet snacks, or it can help add a sweet taste to a savory dish. Keeping some on hand is very useful, so knowing how to freeze it is handy.
So can you freeze mascarpone? Yes, you can keep some around when you need it to help make any dining experience more rich and fun. Sometimes, the texture might be a little off, but you will still get all the same satisfaction from the defrosted mascarpone with enough mixing.