Did you know that you can make your own sour cream at home?
All you need is two ingredients – heavy cream (any kind is fine, but the less additives the better) and buttermilk with live active cultures.
In a clean, dry jar, pour 1 cup of fresh heavy cream from a newly opened carton and add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk. Put on the lid and shake vigorously. Let the jar sit on the counter undisturbed for 6 hours or overnight until the whole mixture thickens and sets.
The key success with this recipe is to use fresh buttermilk with live cultures AND to use heavy cream from a carton that has just been opened. If the carton has been previously opened, you will need to pasteurize your heavy cream to 165 degrees F and then let it cool to room temperature before adding your buttermilk. If you add the buttermilk to the cream while it is hot it will kill the cultures and you won’t end up with anything but a tangy heavy cream and you’ll be back where you started.
If you have access to raw milk you can also use a culture from some of your milk that has clabbered to make some wild sour cream. Simply follow the instructions above replacing the buttermilk with clabber. It works quite well and some people, like my son, tolerate the wild culture better than the cultures in the buttermilk. You can use the cream that you have skimmed from your fresh milk, or cream from the store, and both work fine to make this sour cream at home.
Once the cream has set, store in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.
You can also keep your culture going perpetually if you make a new batch within 7-10 days of culturing the last batch. And if you need extra, just double or triple the recipe. It works great!
Stay tuned for an allergy friend recipe for homemade, sugar and vinegar free ranch dressing….
I have made this in a couple of years, but it’s been one of those weeks and I need something easy for breakfast in the morning. Try this easy make ahead breakfast. You can set it up the night before and it’s ready and hot when you wake up. Get the recipe here!
This cheese couldn’t be easier. All you need is a gallon of whole milk that has not been ultra-pasteurized, a big pot, colander, tea towel or cheese cloth, lemon juice, and milk.
This recipe yields about 1 pound plus of cheese. If you want a smaller batch, this recipe can also be halved. Just buy a half gallon of milk instead.
1 gallon whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
¼-½ cup acid such as lemon juice or vinegar
¼ tsp salt
Optional Ingredients: seasonings like pepper, garlic, chives, and parsley for a savory cheese, or your favorite jam for something sweet.
Cheesecloth or non-fuzzy tea towel
Large heat proof bowl
Heavy bottom pot (stainless steel, enameled cast iron, or Instant Pot)
Digital food thermometer (optional)
Pour 1 gallon of milk into an Instant Pot or heavy bottomed pot. Heat until the milk is steaming or until a thermometer reads 185 degrees F. If using the Instant Pot, pour the milk in and select the Yogurt setting. When the display reads Yogt, the milk has been sufficiently heated.
Add ¼ cup of your acid and stir. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes. If it doesn’t begin to separate and curdle, then check your temp and heat your milk so that it is a little hotter, or add 2 tbsp more acid at a time stirring to distribute the acid through the milk. Do this until you begin to see the curds separate into greenish looking whey.
Once you see the separation, let the curds sit in the whey for 10 minutes.
Line your colander with the cheesecloth or tea towel and pour the whey into the colander being careful not to burn yourself. There will be lots of whey. Be sure the bowl doesn’t overflow.
Once all the contents of the pot have been poured into the colander, move the colander over to the pot to continue draining until the desired texture has been achieved. If you wish a drier, more crumbly cheese, let it drain longer. If you desire a softer, more spreadable cheese, drain less.
Add salt and seasonings if desired and mix through the cheese.
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Consume within 7-10 days.
Soft Spreadable Cheese: Simply drain drain the whey, salt and either immediately warm, or cool and refrigerate until needed. If your cheese is too dry, simply add a little bit of the whey that you poured off and stir back in until the desired soft texture is reached.
Ricotta: Follow the instructions above but drain a little longer until the cheese is a little drier and the curd is crumbly.
Cream Cheese Variation: If you desire a smoother, cream cheese texture, run your cheese through the food processor until smooth. This can be used as a cream cheese substitute.If your cheese is too dry, and won’t blend to a smooth texture, simply add some of the whey back in until the desired texture is achieved.
This cheese is great spread on crackers with a little of your favorite jam to sweeten it up. 😊
Note: Leftover whey from cheese can be used in baking or to water acid loving plants.
Want to learn more….
Consider Homesteading Family’s Practical Homemade Dairy Course (affiliate link) if you’re interested in creating more homemade dairy products in your kitchen. Carolyn covers basic fresh dairy products that you can make in your kitchen like homemade coffee creamers and butter, and then she moves on to cultured dairy like buttermilk and sour cream, and finally easy and advanced cheeses. It’s definitely an all in one course. My family has benefited as now I can make cheese for my son that he can eat because I can control the cultures that are added. It’s the most comprehensive homemade dairy course out there.
Mix the above adding flour gradually until the texture of the dough is like a thick cream cheese frosting.
1/2 cup flour
6 tbsp cold butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon
Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to combine the butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon until the mixture is crumbly or the butter is pea size.
Loosely mix 1/3 of the amount of your filling into your batter. Reserve the rest.
Prepare your pans:
Grease your pan(s) and fill halfway with batter. Sprinkle 1/3 more of the prepared topping/filling on top of the batter. Fill with more batter until the pan(s) are 2/3 full. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the topping on the top and use your fingers to poke some down into the batter like you would if denting focaccia bread.
Cover with a lid or a damp tea towel. Let the bread rise for 1-4 hours until 1/2 inch from the top of the pan.
Bake covered if you have a lidded pan or baking dish for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, and 20-30 minutes more uncovered at 350 until the internal temp measures 190 degrees.
Cool and enjoy.
Makes 1 large 5×13” Pullman style loaf, or two 9×5” loaf pan loaves.
Did you know that you can set your kombucha up for a second ferment to add flavor and fizz?
I just poured up a new batch tonight into these flip top bottles and added blood oranges. I let it sit for 2-3 more days until the orange is infused and it becomes this beautiful pink color. It will also become fuzzy and carbonate which can be quite refreshing.
If you decide to try a second ferment, use glass bottles with flip top lids or plastic bottles. Don’t use a glass container with tight fitting lids as it will continue to ferment and build up pressure and jars have been know to break from the pressure build up. It’s a good idea to burp your container once or twice a day.
What flavor will you try? Some of my favorites are….
Blackberry Lime – add fresh or frozen berries and lime slices or zest.
Blueberry Lemon – add fresh or frozen blueberries and lemon slices or zest.
Raspberry – add fresh or frozen raspberries.
Strawberry Basil – add fresh or frozen strawberries and fresh basil.
Mango – add fresh or frozen mango. (Watch out! The sugars in this one cause it to ferment fast.)
Orange – add fresh orange slices with the rind. I like blood oranges, as you can see.
CranberryGinger – add fresh or dried cranberries and grated ginger root.
Or come up with your own combo. Use what you have or whatever yummy flavors strike your fancy.
This is another yummy way to use up extra sourdough starter. For other flavors search for “batter bread” in the search box here on the blog. It should be at the top of the sidebar on the right if you are reading on a computer, or if you are mobile it should be all the way at all the bottom under the comments.
Pumpkin Spice Batter Bread:
2 cups sourdough starter
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cups honey
1/2 cup milk or water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 – 16 oz can of pumpkin (or 2 cups of pumpkin purée)
Mix the above ingredients until well combined.
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
All purpose or whole wheat flour 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture resembles a very thick pancake batter that is about the texture of softened cream cheese or buttercream icing.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or a large greased casserole. Let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
Bake 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or the internal temp reaches 190 degrees.