Typically, sour cream is made by allowing the cream that has been taken off the top of milk that has been left to be fermented at moderate or normal temperature.
Similarly, it can also be made through souring pasteurized cream using acid-producing bacteria.
Sour cream is just one of those ingredients that you can find a use for in both sweet and savory recipes as well as a condiment with cooked dishes and a topping for baked goods.
Sour cream can also be relied on as the main ingredient in things like bread and tasty desserts.
The use of sour cream in cooking and more specifically in recipes adds richness, moisture, and even spark to a recipe.
When it comes to how to freeze sour cream, it is advisable to do it using an ice tray. This way, when you want to thaw it, you can thaw only the exact amount needed for your recipe instead of the whole bag.
Ice trays also take up very little space in the freezer which is an added advantage.
If somehow all your ice trays are lost, you can still use a freezer-safe Ziplock bag but be sure to leave room in the bag to allow for the expansion of the sour cream when it freezes.
Can you freeze sour cream? Although not the most recommended method of preservation, freezing sour cream is totally possible.
Though a change in texture is to be expected, frozen sour cream will keep well for up to six months.
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How do you revive frozen sour cream?
If you ask around, you will find that most manufacturers advise against freezing sour cream. This is because just like most other dairy products, sour cream tends to separate when it is thawed thus changing its consistency even after whipping it again.
That means that freezing sour cream works only for use cooked and in baked dishes. If, say, you’re making a soup, the changed texture of sour cream won’t affect it that much because you will stir the dairy product in either way.
To thaw or defrost frozen sour cream, simply transfer the amount of sour cream you need to use into the refrigerator and let it thaw for several hours. You will notice that the texture may end up being just a bit watery and the mixture separated.
To fix this, simply use a whisk and whip the sour cream until it gets to reach a smooth consistency. Additionally, you can go a step further and also add a teaspoon of cornstarch and whip it again to reach your desired consistency.
Can you microwave sour cream?
While sour cream is for the most part typically thought of as a cold item, I know you have wondered what would happen if you stuck it in the microwave or better yet if you can microwave sour cream at all.
Well, the simple answer is yes. You can definitely microwave sour cream. In addition to this, there are a few tips and important things that need to be considered before and during the microwaving process of sour cream. These include:
- Ensure you pay close attention to and monitor very keenly the time and intensity of the heat when using a microwave to warm up sour cream.
- It would be more ideal to work with the sour cream in small batches as well as going for shorter periods of time in order to avoid overheating it.
- It is also best that you first bring the sour cream to room temperature before putting it in the microwave to heat up.
- Keep checking on the sour cream after the elapsing of every short period of time.
- Remember to not heat up sour cream in the microwave while it is still in its original packaging. Always strive to transfer it into a microwave safe container.
- Always make sure to cover the container before placing it in the microwave. You can use a lid or a kitchen towel.
- Note that once you have heated your sour cream, you cannot reheat it later.
- The fat content in the sour cream should also be considered when microwaving it.
What is the shelf life of sour cream?
Similar to plenty of if not all other food products, sour cream comes with an expiration date printed on the packaging.
This is typically how long the store has to sell the sour cream before it starts to deteriorate in quality. Ideally, a closed container of sour cream should last between 7 to 10 days past this date. However, if mishandled the sour cream can go bad even before its best by date.
When it comes to an open can of sour cream, it can remain fresh for a period of up to 2 whole weeks. This is, however, entirely dependent on whether it is stored properly.
Since sour cream is already sour, it will typically usually retain its quality for longer periods of time than other dairy products.
How do you properly store sour cream to prevent it from going bad?
Just like yogurt and ice cream, when it comes to dairy products, sour cream has to be refrigerated. Ideally, you should put it in the fridge as soon after purchasing as possible.
Also, ensure that the temperature in the refrigerator is constant and place them in a section that is preferably not accessed that directly for instance in the vegetable drawers.
Once a can or container of sour cream has been opened, it should be transferred into a container that is resealable and airtight. This should be done especially before placing the sour cream in the refrigerator. The tight sealing is to prevent the drying out of the sour cream and keeping out any strong odors.
It is also beneficial if you use clean spoons to scoop out the sour cream from its container. This prevents the risk of contamination.
How to make sour cream
For this process, you will need just two things really. The first is fresh cream that has a fat content of between 18 and 20 percent and a fermenting agent such as milk, lemon, or even buttermilk and yogurt in some cases.
Once the cream is ready, you can choose whichever flavor you like and add to it.
- Begin by transferring the cream from its packaging into a clean glass container.
- If you opt to use lemon and milk, add the lemon to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes. If on the other hand, you have buttermilk, you can just add it directly into the cream.
- Once the lemon and milk mixture has sat for some time, you can proceed to add it to the fresh cream.
- Stir the mixture and ensure that it mixes well.
- After stirring the mixture well, take a lead and cover the glass container and place it aside for a few about 24 hours. Ideally, the jar should be left at a place with room temperature, preferably just the kitchen counter.
- After 24 hours have passed, move the glass container into the refrigerator and leave it there for between 6 – 8 hours.
- And voila, there you have it, your very own home-made sour cream.
If your sour cream turns out a bit thinner and runnier in consistency than usual, do not worry about that. It is simply because the store-bought cans of sour cream usually have thickener added to them during their manufacturing.
You can also choose to make your sour cream more instantly if you are swamped for time, simply add lemon into heavy cream and whisk until the cream is slightly stiffened.
Going the way of making your own sour cream at home is beneficial in that it is easy to make, versatile to use, and inexpensive to acquire.
Signs of spoilage in sour cream
Because sour cream can and does go bad, there are a few things to look out for to keep you from eating or consuming bad sour cream. These signs include:
- Pay attention to the appearance of the sour cream. A bit of separation of the mixture is normal and can be fixed with a simple shake. However, any fundamental change in color from white to yellow is a sure sign of spoilage and the cream should be thrown out.
- The presence or growth of mold or any type of fungi is also a key sign as to the state of the sour cream. The same goes if you notice a significant change in the texture or consistency of the sour cream.
- The smell of the sour cream could also be an indicator of its freshness. Even though sour cream already has a sour smell, any charge leading to a sharp off smell is more than a reason to throw the whole pack of sour cream out.
- Finally, is the taste test, if you have observed the sour cream and smelt it and it seems fine, you can take just a little bit out to taste. If it still tastes fine then you can probably still use it. anything that makes you want to gag should be thrown out.