If you have read my past posts, you should know by now that I am a big fan of dairy! In my blog category, Recipes, the first entry is about eggs. This is the second. Eggs and milk are our staples at home. We don’t usually run out of them.
Never has the kitchen been more creative than during this time! Since we have a curfew and designated market days, going to the supermarket to buy ingredients is not always an option. Today, I will be sharing how to stretch an ingredient to produce another one that you might need in your recipes. That ingredient is, of course, milk.
Making buttermilk out of fresh milk
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. We have a brand of butter that is labeled Buttermilk (Dairy Crème) but it is different. Buttermilk is usually called for in recipes for salad dressings, pancakes from scratch, pies and cakes.
- 1 cup milk (full cream, fresh or evaporated milk)
- 1 tablespoon kalamansi/lemon juice or white vinegar
- Combine milk and kalamansi/lemon juice together and stir.
- Leave for 5 to 10 minutes. The milk will be in thickened consistency with curdled bits.
Since this is a very easy recipe, use the buttermilk in your recipe at once. You can refrigerate it and it will be valid for 2 to 3 days.
Making condensed milk out of fresh milk
Sweetened condensed milk is used for making a lot of desserts including, but not limited to fruit salads, graham cakes, leche flan, gelatin, and chocolate ganache. I tell you, it was hard to crave for these food and find out we are out of condensada. It felt forever waiting for the next market day, only to find out it was not available in the supermarket!
Luckily, I found out, it is very easy to make. Here’s how:
- 2 cups of milk (fresh, full cream or low fat, evaporated)
- 2/3 cup of sugar (white or brown)
- Put milk in a large pot.
- Add the sugar.
- Stir to dissolve sugar.
- Put in medium heat. Stir to completely dissolve sugar. Stop stirring once it starts simmering.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off heat when liquid is cream colored and thickened.
You can cool it and transfer in a jar. Kept in the ref, it will be valid for at least 6 months.
Making Dulce de Leche and Dulce de Leche candies out of fresh milk
Dulce de Leche is a popular confectionary product abroad. Recipes, usually with caramel flavor, calls for Dulce de Leche. It is however, different from caramel in that it is made of milk and sugar versus water and sugar making up caramel.
Same ingredients as that of condensed milk
Same steps as that of condensed milk plus the additional steps below.
- Simmer for another 40 minutes until liquid is darker in color and thicker in consistency.
- Simmer for another hour while stirring constantly, then pour it on a lined tray and you have Dulce de Leche candy bar.
You can cool it and transfer in another container. Kept in the ref, it is good for at least 6 months.
Making cream cheese out of fresh milk
Cream cheese is quite expensive when store-bought plus you are not really sure what was added in your block or bottle. My dad loves the Philadelphia brand, maybe I got it from him. He loves using it as spread to pan de sal. I also do and I am also fond of whipping up dips and no-bake cheesecakes. It is also my favorite frosting for my chocolate cupcakes! If I learn how to make red velvet crinkles, then I would definitely use cream cheese frosting as well.
This procedure also feels like it is a science experiment, so have the kids nearby for observing. Here is how:
- 2 liters of full cream/fat milk
- 5 tablespoon lemon or kalamansi juice
- Salt to your liking
- Cheese cloth or sieve
- Put milk in a pot. In high heat, bring it to a boil.
- Add the lemon or kalamansi juice as it boils.
- Leave it for about 3 to 5 minutes as milk curdles. Here, milk curds separate from yellowish liquid. This yellowish liquid is liquid whey.
- Pour through the cheese cloth or sieve, making sure to strain the whey. You can save the whey and use it as broth to soups, shakes and others.
- Rinse the curds to make sure there is no more whey in the milk curds.
- Squeeze out all the liquid from the curds.
- Put the curds in the food processor if you have one. Otherwise, put it in a bowl. Add salt. Take a taste test and add salt as needed.
- Process or mix it with fork until the salted curds become light and fluffy cream cheese.
- If you want to add herbs and other flavors, do it at this point.
Transfer in an airtight container. Refrigerated, it is valid up to 7 days.
Make whipped cream out of fresh milk
Cream or whipped cream is also a versatile ingredient we need for sweet and savory dishes like salads, cakes, pastas and soup. If it is out of stock, and you are able to find gelatin powder, you can make your own.
- 1 ¼ cup full cream milk
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons confectioner’s or white sugar
- Put cold ¼ cup of milk in a bowl.
- Pour powdered gelatin all over the milk. Leave it for about 5 minutes. It will, then, be spongy.
- Melt this spongy mix in microwave. Depending on your microwave, 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough. Set this aside to cool.
- In another bowl, pour the rest of the milk (1 cup), sugar and the gelatin milk. Whisk together then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Whisk with a mixer to increase volume and achieve that whipped cream consistency.
Transfer this jellied milk in another container and use within 2 days.
It was fun trying out the recipes above. In my opinion, though, it still best to use the real products if they are readily available. These, I would advise, are for emergency only. I beg you to do costing first before opting to use these substitutes. Based on my own estimate, I find that some would be more costly than using the real thing.
Then again, happy experimenting in the kitchen!
Buttermilk recipe: https://www.thekitchn.com/
Whipped cream, Condensed milk and Dulce de Leche recipe: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/
Cream cheese recipe: https://www.alphafoodie.com/