Today, I am continuing the series of posts dedicated to something close to my heart, fermented foods. As you already know I am a big fan of kefir due to its powerful healing properties and unique taste that reminds me of my childhood.
Even though there are many different ways to make sour cream I personally prefer making it using kefir. Not only does it result in a more authentic and distinguished taste but it also means you are getting all the health benefits of kefir in a rich and creamy sour cream. And, who doesn't want this? It's not a big deal if you don't have kefir available you can just use buttermilk or natural greek yoghurt instead in the same proportions as per recipe below. In this case, Lactobacillus from yoghurt or buttermilk will do the job but the final product might have a more sweetish taste. The yeast from kefir gives sourcream its authentic tangy-sour-sweet taste.
A homemade sour cream is a great alternative to the store bought one. Not only the majority of supermarkets' sour cream taste horrible (sorry manufactures) but it often contains gums, thickeners or gelatine and zero of the probiotic bacteria. Personally, I can't call sour cream a mixture of milk and gelatine. Luckily, recently there has been a positive shift in the dairy market when a few manufactures launching all-natural, authentic sour cream. But, it comes with the price tag!
Sourcream (smetana in Russian) is so hearty and versatile! In fact, it goes with pretty much everything in Russian cuisine - soups, sauces, pancakes, crêpes, salads, bread, potatoes, vareniki (dumplings), beef stroganoff, marinades, cakes, pastries (honestly, you name it!). It can be incorporated into a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. It complements nicely these cheesy broccoli fritters, zucchini muffins, paper-thin crêpes, and protein pikelets.
But, wait there's more! Sour cream is more than just a condiment in Russia - it's a beauty product too. It helps to soothe sunburned skin and accelerate the healing process with the same effectiveness as aloe vera. Plus, it acts as a powerful moisturiser since it's loaded with the good stuff. Fortunately, sour cream is unbelievably easy to make as you only need two ingredients and a little bit of time.
YOU WILL NEED:
300ml pure cream
60ml kefir or another culture (buttermilk, yoghurt)
TO MAKE SOUR CREAM:
Pour fresh cream into a clean container (ideally glass). Add kefir (or other culture) and mix well with the spoon.
Cover loosely with the lid leaving a little gap. DO NOT cover it completely with the lid as oxygen is required for the fermentation process. Leave on the kitchen bench or if possible on the hot water cylinder to ferment for 12 hrs or until ready. I like my sourcream very thick, that is why I normally leave it to ferment for a little bit longer. Please note the warmer outside temperature the faster the fermentation process.
You will know that it's ready when cream thickens and a yellowish layer is formed on the surface.
Mix it well with the spoon, cover with the lid and put in a fridge for around 3-4 hours. Don't worry at this stage if the texture is a bit runny. It will thicken once you refrigerate it (as per next photo).
As you can see, it's so thick now (after being refrigerated) that it holds the spoon!
Please note that you can use this sour cream to make the next batch by just adding some of your existing sour cream to the pure cream and leave it to ferment as per instruction above.