Word on the keto-street is that Organic Valley Heavy Whipping Cream is the only brand that consistently has no carbs. Their process is good enough to take only the fat and leave all of the lactose behind. And it’s organic–even better.
But we have a problem. We’ve notice that the Organic Valley cream we get from our local co-op is often very clumpy, while the Organic Valley cream that we get from another grocery store is consistently smoother.
So what’s going on in that clumpy container? In “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen,” Harold McGee says it simply: “you agitate a container of cream until the fat globules are damaged and their fat leaks out and comes together into masses large enough to gather.” I suspect that the creamery trucks need better shocks to avoid all of that agitation.
The clumps that we find are baby butter. We try to stir them back into the cream, but we are really just breaking them up for a more even distribution. When we heat cream with clumps, they turn into yellow pools of butter. When Ted found a very clumpy carton this weekend, his idea was to put it in the microwave to heat, then it would re-distribute itself better. After heating and stirring, he put it in the fridge. When it came out of the fridge, there was a butter disk on top! (It was half-eaten by the time I took a picture. No, I didn’t eat it.)
Now, that’s cool, right? But we have a problem. We just extracted fat from the cream. We could do a rigorous weighing and calculation to determine how much fat was removed from the container to calculate and use the “thin” cream for Nora. But instead we bought a new carton and I will drink the thin cream in my coffee this week. Everybody wins.
Lesson: Buy smooth cream if possible. If your cream is clumpy, don’t heat it. Redistribute the clumps as well as you can for reliable fat measurement.