Sour Cream Substitutions

I will have to head to a funeral this week and, being a good southerner, I will be bringing food for the condolence call on the family.

I decided to bring my poppy seed pound cake (see previous post here) but it wasn’t until after I had beat the egg whites to soft peaks and was creaming the butter, sugar and egg yolks that I realized I didn’t have any sour cream.

Unfortunately, I had no plain greek yogurt in the house, which is my first choice for a substituting for sour cream. You can replace equal amounts, ie 1 cup sour cream for 1 cup yogurt. If I was making a dip instead of baking it, I would put the yogurt in a cheesecloth to drain off some liquid first.

My next substitution option is using milk. First you have to sour the milk – I typically use lemon juice (1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk) and set it aside for 5 minutes or more to sour. To then substitute it for 1 cup of sour cream, use 3/4 cup of the sour milk plus three tablespoons of butter.

If no milk, my next option is using buttermilk. I keep a container of the powdered buttermilk in my fridge at all times. I make up a cup of butter milk, following the directions on the package, and then use the same ratio as for the sour milk – 3/4 cups buttermilk plus three tablespoons butter.

As a last resort, I’ve even used cottage cheese. Sour 1 cup of cottage cheese with a tablespoon of lemon juice and thin it with a tablespoon of milk (or water). I recommend putting this in a blender to smooth it out or the finished product is a little oddly textured.

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