Using Creams and Substitutes

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated April 10, 2020)

If you've ever needed sour cream but found that you had none in the fridge, you'll appreciate these easy substitutions.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into 1 cup of evaporated milk. Leave the mixture standing at room temperature for 40 minutes, and you've got sour cream!
  • No evaporated milk in the pantry? Do not worry. Mix 3/4 cup of buttermilk or sour milk with 5 tablespoons of melted butter that has been allowed to cool. Blend the two together well, and you wind up with a great sour cream substitute.
  • If you don't have any buttermilk or sour milk, you can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of regular milk.

If you're making a sauce and need to find a substitute for 1 cup (1/2 pint) of double cream, mix 3 tablespoons (6 fluid ounces) of whole milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) of melted unsalted butter. (Don't use in ice cream or mousse, however, as the butter will go lumpy. Use this substitute only in sauces.)

If you're counting calories, replace 4 tablespoons (8 fluid ounces) of double cream (832 calories) with tinned evaporated skim milk (176 calories). Evaporated skim milk has far less cholesterol, too.

When you whip cream, do you have to spend an eternity whisking? Double cream will whip up better if it is well chilled beforehand. Chilling the bowl also helps. The next time you are whipping cream, use a metal bowl and metal beaters, and put them in the freezer for a while before you're ready to whip. You will find that icy cold cream and utensils create stiff whipped cream quickly.

Do you find that your whipping cream bowl has a mind of its own, sliding around uncontrollably? Keep your bowl still by placing a dampened, folded dish towel under the bowl in which you are whipping the cream. This will stop the bowl from sliding all over the counter. Another advantage is it will collect some of the spray that usually flies around whenever you are whisking.

Another quick tip that will make your life easier: whip cream in a Bosch or Kitchenaid electric mixer. It's much faster, and you'll save your arm.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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