It’s so quick and easy to make homemade sour cream. This traditional recipe uses a probiotic culture, so it can be as sour as you want. It’s perfect for tacos, pierogies, soups and dips.
Here are some of the reasons why you should make your own sour cream:
- It’s probiotic!
- You get to decide how sour you want it.
- The flavour of cultured dairy is delicious.
- The price of the cream is less than the price of sour cream, so it’s a cheap alternative.
- Homemade sour cream is zero-waste (or lower waste). No need to recycle a plastic container.
- It’s easy! Just mix in the culture and you’re done.
Sour Cream Culture
A good mesophilic (room temperature loving) culture is traditional for sour cream. This type of culture works best at 22C (72F), so there’s no need to heat the cream or keep it warm in a yogurt maker.
The flavour of the sour cream will be affected by your choice of culture, so if you want a traditional sour cream flavour, then you will need a traditional sour cream culture. Here are some different mesophilic cultures that will work for sour cream:
- You can buy sour cream culture online (affiliate link). It will be very vigorous and is a great way to kickstart your own homemade sour cream culture.
- Sometimes store-bought sour cream is cultured. However, not all of them are, so you will need to read the label. Store-bought sour cream is generally not a very vigorous culture, so give it a full 24 hours the first time you use it to make homemade sour cream.
- Cultured buttermilk is a great alternative as the flavour is similar to sour cream.
- Milk kefir can culture cream, but the yeast part of the culture will change the flavour and consistency of the sour cream to be more like milk kefir.
- Mesophilic yogurts also have their own, unique flavour. So, they can culture whipping cream, but it won’t taste like store-bought sour cream.
Maintaining A Sour Cream Culture
Like all fermented cultures, sour cream needs to be fed regularly to remain healthy and vigorous. Realistically, that means making sour cream once a week! However, dairy cultures freeze very well. Here’s how to freeze sour cream culture for future batches:
- Whenever you make sour cream, freeze enough culture for the next batch. It will last in the freezer for at least 4 weeks (and up to several months).
- Defrost the frozen culture for 24 hours in the fridge before using it.
Traditional Homemade Sour cream
Traditional sour cream is made with a bacterial culture that sets at room temperature. It is probiotic and delicious. Perfect for tacos, pierogies and more!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 1/4 cup 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Probiotic
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1/4 cup of mesophilic cultured dairy (see the section above for different culturing options)
- 1 cup whipping cream (30-35% milkfat)
- Mix the culture and cream in a clean glass jar.
- Loosely screw on the lid and leave it at room temperature (around 22 C, 72 F) for 12-24 hours.
- Once it has thickened and tastes sour, store it in the fridge and finish it within 3 weeks.
- You can find mesophilic dairy cultures in most grocery stores (eg. buttermilk). See the section above for more detailed information.
- The first time you make sour cream it may take a little longer to achieve a sour flavour. It will depend on the quality of your culture. However, once you’ve established your culture, it should be relatively quick.
- The cream will thicken as it cultures, but if you want a really thick sour cream, then strain it through a coffee filter (like Greek yogurt). Store-bought sour cream contains a bunch of added ingredients to help thicken the cream, so don’t expect your homemade sour cream to be as thick.