Your Burnt Milk Could Be Saved With This Clever Trick

Whether you're making pastry cream for a gâteau Basque or a simple breakfast porridge, properly heated milk is the key to delicious results. However, a few minutes too long on the stove or too high of a temperature can easily ruin the whole recipe. But while you might be tempted just to toss the milk and start over if you accidentally end up burning it, there's an easy way you can salvage it.

According to Her Zindagi, the solution involves a bit of clever flavor masking. To achieve this, you'll need to infuse the milk with a few spices — whole betel leaves, toasted cinnamon sticks, or a combination of toasted bay leaves, cardamom, and cloves. Delish alternatively suggests using a pinch of salt as a neutralizer.

The reason these ingredient additions work, Better Butter explains, is because when you burn the milk, it's technically still usable and safe to consume. The most significant change is its flavor. Adding spices or salt takes away that burnt flavor by disguising it to create one that's much more palatable.

Try making a recipe that already calls for burnt milk

If you're dead set on making a particular dish and don't mind altering the taste, adding spices is a convenient solution. But if you're open to going in a different direction altogether, there are many recipes in which burnt milk serves as a main ingredient. Better Butter shares that milk pudding, fruit ice cream, and custard are more flexible when heating the milk, so even milk that's accidentally burned is okay. Pastry Chef Online also adds that homemade yogurt and paneer cheese made from scratch are better off when milk is more burnt because the water content is lower.

Unfortunately, there's still a limit to how burnt milk can be before you should discard it. Pastry Chef Online gives milk a grace period of 15 seconds at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Milk solids along the bottom are perfectly fine, but once there's a brown or black film, no amount of spice or recipe reworking can save it.