Who doesn’t know how to skim cream? I can answer my own question by saying that while I understood the process of it, I didn’t have the privilege of doing it for myself until we got our own Jersey cow.
Prior to that, we had raw goat milk — and goat milk’s cream does not truly separate out (though some does).
Prior to that, we didn’t drink milk.
And prior to that, we drank grocery store milk.
So… only this year have I begun skimming my own cream. I love it — the cream, yes, but also the task. No, it isn’t hard. But it is special.
In today’s world, where plastic cartons of homogenized milk are the standard, you might even say that skimming your own cream is like resurrecting a lost art. Just like raising your own milk cow.
I am incredibly grateful for our Jersey and her milk and cream. As you’ll hear in the video, getting her cream has been challenging, because Gracie, our Jersey, would rather save it for her calf. But since making this video two weeks ago, Gracie has improved what she shares with us, as well as her behavior, so we’re getting there… It’s all a process, right?
I hope you enjoy the video (above) where I demonstrate the very simple task of skimming cream. Plus I get to talking about our milk cow Gracie and how we “tricked” her into sharing more cream with us — so for all you who write to me that you enjoy hanging out with me in my kitchen via videos, this one’s for you. And for the record, I enjoy it, too.
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How to Skim Cream
Let the cream rise to the top of the milk over the course of at least 24 hours (in cold storage) and very carefully, skim it away with a ladle or wide spoon into a separate jar. Be careful not to disturb the layers, as best you can. The cream will be very thick at the top and get thinner toward the milk line.
I like to leave at least 1″ of the lightest cream in the milk, because drinking skim milk is no fun!
Inevitably, you’ll get some milk in with your cream. Or if you’re skimming the heaviest cream for butter, you’ll end up with some lighter weight cream, too. Amy, an eCourse member, lets her cream layers separate in the refrigerator yet again to ensure she’s getting just what she wants for the task at hand. Thanks for this tip, Amy!
A quick summary of the uses for cream: Use the heaviest cream for butter and whipping cream, and the lighter cream in your warm beverages or drizzled on soups and stews. Any cream can be kefir-ed (as we’ll go over in this week’s cultured dairy lesson) or used for ice cream, and any cream can be soured. The thickest cream will make the thickest sour cream.
What About You?
Do you enjoy skimming cream? Have any tips to share about doing it well?