Oh, So Simple Sour Cream

| 12/21/2017 4:07:00 PM

Kristi Cook
sour scream

Once you get started DIYing your own dairy products, you may be surprised to find yourself addicted to the fresh taste and sense of empowerment found in controlling what goes into your favorite foods. You’ll find yourself dreaming of freshly churned butter, delighting in from-scratch whipped cream, and experimenting with homemade cheeses. And the good news is that most dairy products may be made from either locally sourced raw milk or commercially prepared products. To keep your DIY dairy skills growing, give old-fashioned sour cream a try. You just may find your newfound addiction growing.

Recipes for dairy products are about as varied as the individuals making them. This is certainly true for sour cream. Here’s my favorite version, mainly because it readily adapts to the quantity of cream I have on hand and doesn’t require an online order of starter cultures.

Place 1 cup or more of fresh, raw or pasteurized cream in a sterilized pint jar. Add 2 tablespoons cultured sour cream for every 1 cup cream. Gently stir to combine. Note: The cultured sour cream you use as a starter can be store bought sour cream as long as the ingredient list says only "cultured cream" with no fillers, or from a previous homemade batch of sour cream.

Leave cream at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to allow the fermentation process that creates the "soured" flavor to develop. Don’t worry about the cream going rancid as the addition of live cultures allows cream to ferment safely.

Start taste testing periodically after 12 hours and continue to allow the cream to ferment until it reaches your desired tanginess. Once satisfied, refrigerate your fresh, additive-free sour cream for up to a week. Be sure to hold back at least 1/4 cup of your fresh sour cream to make another batch.

A few side notes: I have found that there are times when this new starter doesn’t always work on subsequent batches due to the live cultures wearing out. Each brand of sour cream utilizes their own version and mix of cultures, with some being one-time use and others being of the "heirloom" variety. Of course, there’s no way to know which cultures a brand uses, so a bit of trial and error is necessary if you want to create a starter that you can use multiple times.

12/27/2017 8:05:49 AM

Kristi, great post. We didn't make sour cream when I grew up but we did make butter. I can still remember fresh bread with homemade butter oozing down in the warm bread. It was better than candy. Your post kind of made me think of those wonderful memorable days of my youth. Technology stole my heart in high school and I scampered off in a totally different direction until retirement. The best I can do now is vacant lot gardening which satisfies the digging in the dirt desire that rose up after retirement. There's nothing like some sour cream on a baked potato so I may have to give this a try. ***** Have a great simple sour cream day. ***** Nebraska Dave

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