A few weeks ago, my family made the switch from pasteurized milk to raw milk straight from the farm. It was one of the best decisions we have made. There are so many raw milk benefits that it was a no-brainer for our family. One of those benefits was being able to make heavy whipping cream right in my own kitchen!
Ya’ll. Real. 100% Fresh Cream. Oh, bless my comfort food loving soul, but fresh cream alone makes it worth the $6.00 a gallon we pay.
It’s also good for you too because now I can show you how to make homemade heavy whipping cream yourself.
There are a couple of things you should understand about getting fresh cream from milk.
First, you absolutely must use raw milk.
Pasteurized milk does not contain cream. It is removed from the milk before the pasteurization takes place.
You could wait until the cows come home for pasteurized milk to separate into cream and it never would.
Raw milk it is.That is if you want fresh cream without going to the store.
Heavy Whipping Cream
Heavy cream can be used for so many different things. You could make homemade butter, homemade cottage cheese, homemade sour cream, whipped cream, real homemade buttermilk, homemade ice cream and a whole slew of other delicious farm fresh recipes.
It is so versatile and I absolutely love having it around the house!
We use ours mainly for butter or cottage cheese, but experimenting is a good thing. Play around with your homemade heavy cream until you decide on a few items to make from it each week.
Raw Cream from Raw Milk
You don’t need a ton of supplies to make heavy cream from milk. All you really need is a mixing bowl or other container, a small measuring cup or scoop and raw milk of course.
As you can see, once I bring our milk home, I transfer it to half gallon mason jars.
This is partly because I don’t want it sitting in plastic milk jugs for long, but also because mason jars make it far easier to see the cream line and to reach the raw cream.
The 2/3 cup measure fits perfectly into the mason jars.
What is the cream line in raw milk?
Before you can begin skimming the heavy whipping cream off your raw milk, you should understand how the process works. As I said earlier, it’s pretty simple.
Raw milk is a mixture of fresh cream and milk. It comes out of the cow like that.
The milk, however, is heavier than the cream so as the milk sits it will separate. The cream will rise to the top and the milk will sink to the bottom.
How to Make Cream from Raw Milk
The time it can take to separate will vary on how fresh your cream is. This particular batch was from cows milked the morning I bought the milk. It rose to the top within a few hours.
To keep your heavy whipping cream pure without milk in it, you’ll need to be sure you can see the cream line and that you don’t dip into the milk below it.
It’s usually fairly easy to see. Fresh cream is a brighter white than milk. The photo above shows that pretty clearly.
How to Separate Heavy Cream from Milk
To separate heavy cream from milk, use your scoop or spoon to dip into the heavy cream.
You don’t need to be too careful, however, be sure to take some care when you get down to the bottom of the cream line that you don’t dip into the milk as well.
Yes, it can take a little bit of time to scoop the raw cream out; especially if you have a lot of milk, but trust me when I say it is so very worth the time spent being careful.
Honestly, if you do as much milk as I do at once, it’s quite time consuming. I find it very well worth my time though to have heavy whipping cream as fresh as I get from the raw milk!
Heavy Cream from Milk
Mmmm…look at that! Do you see how thick and rich that heavy whipping cream looks?
If you’re unsure whether you have cream or milk in your scoop, pour some off into whatever you’re using as a container and take a look.
Heavy cream will be thick and coat your scoop like you see in the photo.
Milk will have a more watery texture and simply run out of the scoop.
How to Make Homemade Heavy Cream
Once you have the homemade heavy whipping cream skimmed off, store it in an air tight container in the fridge unless you’re making sour cream with it.
I store my cream in quart sized mason jars. I find that the quart sized work best for using the cream since I don’t use it all at once.
Yes. My fridge is full of mason jars. I’m okay with that.
Use your heavy whipping cream within 1-2 weeks of skimming it unless you’re purposely allowing it to go sour.
If you don’t think you’ll use it before it sours, you can freeze both raw milk and fresh heavy cream. In fact, it’s one of my favorite foods you can freeze.
For those wondering, I did roughly 4 gallons of milk with this batch and got 3 quarts fresh cream from it.
I could have probably gotten at least another pint off our milk, but I tend to leave a bit of cream in the milk for taste.
IF you’ve never used fresh cream or are not used to drinking full fat raw milk, I suggest you try it both with the heavy cream fully removed and with the cream only mostly removed.
Other Homemade Heavy Whipping Cream Recipes
The way I skim my milk isn’t the only way out there to do it.
I’ve seen methods that include everything from poking holes in the milk jug to allow the milk to drain or using a large drink pitcher with spigot to pour off the milk.
I tried the holes thing. It made a huge mess and wasted very expensive milk.
If none of these methods appeal to you, you could also use a turkey baster to siphon off the cream.
It may take you a few times to figure out a method you are comfortable with and like, but once you do? You’ll wonder why you weren’t using homemade heavy cream before now.