Monday, June 21, 2010

Homemade Sour Cream

A few years ago, I was making a Thanksgiving style dinner at, what was then, our new house. I had everything going and was up to my elbows in all kinds of ingredients. I had sent my visiting mother-in-law to the store a little earlier and just minutes after she returned I realized that I was out of sour cream. The sour cream was a crucial ingredient in a mashed potato recipe I was using and I had to have it to make the dinner I had planned (and wanted).

At that time, our house was about 25 minutes away from the closest store so sending anyone out to get the missing ingredient would set me and the dinner back by about an hour. I couldn't wait, so I stood helplessly in the kitchen and started thinking.

Quickly I realized that sour cream is just what it's name suggests, soured cream. I'd substitued milk and vinegar before when I needed buttermilk, so I figured the same methodology would work with sour cream. I pulled out a carton of whipping cream and slowly added in a little vinegar. Immediately the cream began to thicken. I figured if I whipped it a little with a mixer it would thicken even further. Sure enough, in just a few minutes time I had all the sour cream I needed and it tasted better than any I had ever bought.

Since that day I've made homemade sour cream countless times. I like that it's all natural and the fact that I can control how "sour" I want it. I will still buy it prepared on occasion but I find something so satisfying about making things from scratch. Plus, it never fails to impress when you tell someone that you make your own sour cream!

  • Try adding in different ingredients for a flavored sour cream. Mashed avacado, minced herbs,wasabi, horseradish, minced garlic or onion, crumbled bacon or grated cheese are all tasty options.
  • A little salt can make anything better, try adding a little at a time as a flavor enhancer.
  • I've had mixed results using half and half (half cream/half whole milk), sometimes it works for me and other times it just doesn't. Just be aware if using half & half that it may or may not thicken thouroughly.

Homemade Sour Cream

1 cup heavy cream (cold)

1 to 2 teaspoons white vinegar

In a small mixing bowl, add chilled cream and pour the vinegar over it. Using an electric mixer, mix until thickened (adjust amount of vinegar to your tastes, ie. how sour you want it)


Miri said...

This sounds delicious! I've made my own cream cheese using sour cream...wonder how great the cream cheese would be if I made my own sour cream first! (For cream cheese, just add 1/8 teaspoon salt to 1 cup sour cream, mix and spoon into a paper coffee filter in holder. Let the whey drain off overnight in the refrigerator. Unmold onto plate.)

Pumpkin Tart said...

Wow, how easy, I'll definiately have to try that soon! I use cream cheese in everything!
Thanks for the tip!

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