Stop Throwing Away Old Heavy Cream And Make Sour Cream Instead

Got heavy cream that's past its expiration date but still smells okay? Don't toss it out just yet. Instead, transform it into luscious homemade sour cream with a simple kitchen hack. While heavy cream that has curdled or gone chunky is a no-go, some that is slightly aged but still fresh is perfect for this culinary transformation. Best of all: Making sour cream from old heavy cream is surprisingly easy. 

Start by pouring the heavy cream into glass jar or container. Then, add a splash of mild vinegar, such as white or apple cider vinegar. Give it a gentle stir to combine, add a splash of milk followed by another stir, then cover the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel and secure it with a rubber band or lid. Now, the waiting game begins. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least a day, allowing the acid in the vinegar to naturally sour the cream. During this time, it will thicken and develop the tangy flavor characteristic of sour cream.

How does this simple mixture make sour cream?

Why does this work? The acid in the vinegar reacts with the cream, causing it to thicken and develop a tangy flavor similar to traditional sour cream. It's a simple yet effective process that transforms old heavy cream into a deliciously creamy condiment. Similarly, you can use buttermilk instead of milk and vinegar if you prefer. Once your homemade sour cream has reached the desired level of tanginess and thickness, give it a taste test and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavor, if desired. 

Homemade sour cream made from old heavy cream is perfect for dolloping on tacos, stirring into mashed potatoes, or topping off a bowl of chili. It's a thrifty kitchen hack that transforms an otherwise unused ingredient into a delicious and versatile condiment. So before you toss out that expired heavy cream, give this DIY sour cream recipe a try — it may just become your new favorite kitchen trick.