Sometimes it seems difficult to find a quality sour cream at the local grocery store. Organic sour cream is rare in many parts of the country and even if you can find an organic option, often it has been ultra-pasteurized or has added stabilizers to thicken the product.
Fortunately, making sour cream at home is easy. To make sour cream you will need cream and a starter culture. While making sour cream takes only a few minutes of prep time, allow a full 24 hours for the sour cream to culture and cool prior to serving.
Choosing a Cream
The first step to making sour cream is choosing an appropriate cream for the project. There are several factors to consider:
- Whipping cream (whole cream) will yield the thickest sour cream.
- Half-and-half can be used but the sour cream will have a thinner consistency than if whipping cream is used. Dry milk powder can be added to improve the consistency if desired.
- Raw cream can be used but will yield a thinner consistency than if pasteurized whipping cream is used.
- Avoid ultra-pasteurized (UP) or ultra-high temperature (UHT) cream as it tends to yield inconsistent results when used for making cultured foods.