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Substituting Milk for Cream

 Can you substitute 2% milk for cream? How do you make cream?

 No, dear one. Cows make cream — only cows make cream. It comes out with the milk. Dairies separate the cream from milk, and they package everything from nearly fat-free milk to very fat-full cream, and lots of products in between. There are certainly recipes where you can substitute a low-fat milk for cream, but without knowing what you want to cook, we can't make our consistently high-quality educated guess.

There are several reasons cream is called for in a recipe. One is taste; cream has a different taste than milk. Another is texture; cream provides a richer texture than milk. Another is the cooking properties; the more fat a milk product has, the less prone it is to curdling when cooked. So 2% milk is going to curdle in a cooked dish much sooner than a heavy cream.

Your results of substituting milk for cream will depend on the role the milk/cream is to play in the recipe and how large a portion of the total ingredients it represents. Also your own tastes play a significant role. Someone who is accustomed to a low-fat diet might find your recipe made with cream too rich and heavy. Someone who doesn't faint at the concept of ingesting a little cream now and then might not care for the dish if you substitute low-fat milk for cream.

In some cases, substituting ingredients is not so much a matter of science as a matter of personal preference.

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