In our slow cooking community we see members posting their concern over split cream in their slow cooked dishes.
What is splitting?
A lot of people will refer to dairy products that have split as being curdled. If you milk/cream etc ‘curdles’ during storage that’s a problem and you should throw it out, don’t use it.
However if it separates during cooking it’s more likely to be split and that is really only a change of appearance and texture. It’s still perfectly fine to eat 🙂
Why does it occur?
Sauces made with milk/cream can split for several reasons…
– low fat content: dairy products with higher fat content are less likely to split
– high heat: exposing dairy products to high heat, eg close to boiling, increases likelyhood of splitting
– high acidity: adding dairy products to recipes with higher acidic content can also cause this splitting to occur
How can I prevent it?
– Choose higher fat versions of your cream/milk etc rather than the low fat varieties
– If possible add the cream/milk at the end of your cooking time rather than the beginning. You can even take it off the heat
before you add.
– When adding cream early try whisking a tsp or so or cornflour into the cream first before adding it to your dish
– Choose ‘cooking cream’ or ‘Creme fraiche’ or double cream which are less likely to split.
(In Australia I use Bulla brand COOKING cream. UK members report the crème fraiche is a similar product for them)
– Allowing dairy products to reduce slightly in temperature before adding them, eg not straight from the fridge, can also help
– Adding cream to a water based recipe can cause this splitting due to the combination of cream (oil) and stock (water). Stirring regularly helps to avoid this.
What do I do once it’s happened?
Remember … it’s ok to eat. While a dish with split cream may not look as nice it’s certainly NOT a reason to throw it out!
Sometimes, if the nature of the dish allows it, you could try giving it a really good stir/mix 🙂
You could also stir through a little cornflour/water slurry.
Don’t be discouraged! Next time just try the preventative measures and if all else fails … eat this one with your eyes shut and you’ll never know the difference *wink*
13 thoughts on “Help! My cream has split”
Thank you. Exactly what I wanted to know.
I was just about to throw out a rice pudding but thanks to your advice I now know it is safe to eat! Thank you 🤗
Would UHT cream/milk be similar as cooking cream due to them being heat treated?
I was making a tandoori chicken recipe and this happened .
I realized it was because I used low fat sour cream as a substitute . I am thinking I will still let the thighs slow cook for for the remaining time and see what happens maybe in the end just diacarding the curds … I did want a nice sauce though it’s sort of a shame because I marinated the boneless thighs all night :- /
This is exactly the information I needed before I used my slow cooker for a dish for the first time. Very helpful and detailed.
I was making a pasta sauce using whipping cream when this happened to me. I called a friend who said to take a few tablespoons of the boiling water from the pasta pot and add it to the sauce and whisk like crazy. It was like magic – it all came together. Hope this helps someone.
Did recipe today with consists of reducing wine by half then add creme fraiche but every time it curdles into thick blobs what I am doing wrong splot a good dish
I want to make butter cream and you’re saying there is no way of fixing it????😭😭😭
My God I am glad I found your post I was about to throw out my whole dinner worried that it had gone bad 😀 thank you thank you thank you for posting
With adding cornflour to cream how much would you recommend for 600mls? I’m using a lactose free cream and want to make a potato bake
I would add 2tsp to that volume
I made a taco casserole and it called for a sour cream mixture. The instructions were to let the sour cream come to room temperature, and the first time I made it, was my fault because the sour cream did sit out way longer than an hour. But the second go round I did everything to the “T”, and the sour cream still looked curdled. Or split or whatever. But when I taste it, it tasted fine. So it’s okay to eat….?
I add a little cornflour to it first to help prevent splitting 🙂
Did you do that?