Making Sour Cream, Mascarpone, and Paneer

I’m still experimenting with making fresh dairy products, nothing difficult or aged, just something I can have fun with, while I’m making us better food than I can buy.  If you haven’t seen the previous posts on making cultured dairy products, I’m getting milk and cream at Mill-King.

Sour Cream

Total Time: 24 hours

Yield: 1 1/4 cup


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Put cream and buttermilk in jar, and stir together. I used my homemade buttermilk
  2. Cover with the lid, and let sit on counter 24 hours until thick. Mine took a little longer.
  3. That's it, you've got sour cream. Refrigerate. It thickens more, once it's been in the fridge for 8 hours.

Moving on to mascarpone, one of our favorites.  It’s richness is far superior to cream cheese, so we love to use it particularly around the holidays.  Use it for anything from pasta to pastry.  I’ll probably mix some with Nutella and espresso, and another batch with lemon, vanilla, and honey.  Then I’ll move on to pastas!


Total Time: 48 hours

Yield: 2 cups


  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice


  1. In a double boiler, heat cream and salt to about 175°.
  2. Add lemon and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Don't let temp get above 185°.
  3. Remove from heat, cool to room temp, stir occasionally.
  4. Refrigerate overnight. Cream should thicken.
  5. Set a strainer over a bowl. Line the strainer with layers of dampened cheesecloth, unbleached muslin, or a thin pastry (dish) towel.
  6. Pour the cream through the lined strainer.
  7. Place the whole thing in the fridge overnight. You should have luscious mascarpone in the morning. Remove from strainer and place in a container. It will continue to thicken.
  8. You can drink the whey or pour it in the garden.

And now for Paneer.  It’s a fresh cheese, a little like Farmer’s Cheese, and very delicious.  In India they mix large diced paneer with different sauces and serve on rice.  Rather than try to explain the process, even though it’s pretty simple, Wiki has an excellent explanation with pictures, click here.  Make sure you add a little salt to the recipe.

Paneer is great for frying because it stays together well.  In the picture, I fried a couple strips and instead of doing a savory dish, I drizzled it with honey and sprinkled nuts on top.