• Homemade sour cream (Camellia Aebischer)Source: Camellia Aebischer
Homemade sour cream will have a more complex flavour from the natural bacteria cultures that form.
Camellia Ling Aebischer

1 Oct 2020 - 4:32 PM  UPDATED 1 Oct 2020 - 4:32 PM

Most sour cream you can buy in the supermarkets these days are thickened artificially and have a mild, pleasant flavour. That’s all well and good, but I didn’t drag you here to waste time making your own sour cream when you can pick it up for less than $2 ready-made.

Like many homemade things, the satisfaction and added flavour of this sour cream is distinct from the stuff out of cartons, and as a bonus makes a great mini science experiment and provides some dinnertime conversation/dinner-party bragging rights.

It’s as simple as leaving cream, milk and acid out overnight, but there are a few things to mention first.

Firstly, the texture will be looser than store-bought sour cream, so might not work as well if you want it for stabilising a dip or as a binding agent. It will still be thick, more like lightly whipped cream.

Secondly, if you push the 24hr mark, there will be some fun cheesy qualities, from the good bacteria that form. Mine smelled just like the Australian cultured butter I buy – so delicious.

You can either use lemon juice or white vinegar depending on your preference for taste.

How to make your own sour cream

Take 1 cup of heavy pouring cream, 2 tsp of lemon juice (or white vinegar) and ¼ cup milk. Place all three in a jar, add the lid and shake to combine.

Remove the lid, then place a clean piece of cloth, cheesecloth, or paper towel around the mouth of the jar, secured with a rubber band.

Leave on your counter, away from direct sunlight, for between 12-24 hrs (depending on the climate). At 24hrs it will be a little funkier and firmer. If there is any sign of mould, throw it away and start again.

Once it’s set, pop it in the fridge to cool.

It may separate like this but don't worry! It's still good.

The whey might separate and fall to the bottom of the jar, which is all good. You can either stir it back in or drain it off if you want a firmer end product (I drained it).

And that’s it! Sources say it’ll keep up to two weeks in the fridge, just store it in an airtight container.

Use a thinner version on tacos in place of Mexican crema.

Love the story? Follow the author here: Instagram @cammienoodle

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