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Nov 17, 2006 01:55 PM

Weird question: Can I "fatten up" milk?

OK, so, I'm making rice pudding from an old family recipe which calls for whole milk. Problem is, the store did not have whole milk (in organic, anyway), so I got 2%. I should have bought some half & half right then and there, but did not, and there's no time to get any now; the pot is simmering on the stove. Is there any way I can enrich it with, say, a bit of butter, or 2% Greek yogurt (I know, same percentage, but still thicker and richer)?

Thanks for a rapid reply!!

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  1. I wouldn't bother changing it. Whole milk is only 3.5% fat or so, so it's not that different.

    1. I would us butter, but not yogurt. unless you want to turn it into buttermilk.

      1. I would suggest 1 cup of 1/2-1/2 per quart of 2% milk. Butter can be added to milk, but it's very difficult to get it to re-incorporate.

        Fresh whole milk from the cow can range anywhere from 5-6%(depending on the breed)

        5 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          True, but "whole" milk in markets has had cream skimmed (to be used in cream products) to keep the range 3.5%-4% very uniformly.

          I always keep cream on hand because I normally drink 1% milk and simply add cream to it to get 4% whole (I have a little table for doing this with halfnhalf, light, whipping and heavy creams) or to create halfnhalf or light cream. It's very handy to do things that way.

          1. re: Karl S

            Karl, I agree with you. I usually buy 2% in stores, and that is what I use on a daily basis.

            I am also a pastry chef and occasionally I get fresh milk from friends who have a dairy farm and raise Brown Swiss and Jersey cattle. The higher fat content is optimal for baking pastries and holiday sweets.

            1. re: Karl S

              however the poster doesn't *have* half and half or cream and is looking for other suggestions. my feeling was that in this case the difference between whole and 2% wasn't going to make a big difference.

              1. re: Karl S

                Karl, I remember when you posted that table and I printed it out for reference. I have since misplaced it and can't find the link on CH either. Would you be ever so kind to either repost this table or perhaps the link to the original post?


                1. re: queenie

                  Add the following to 1 cup of skim milk to approximate 1 cup of

                  1.5t heavy cream= 1% milk
                  1T heavy cream= 2% milk
                  2T heavy cream= whole milk
                  5T 1t heavy cream= half-&-half
                  9T heavy cream= light cream
                  1T light cream= 1% milk
                  1T 2t light cream= 2% milk
                  3T light cream= whole milk
                  5 oz light cream= half-&-half
                  2T half & half= 1% milk
                  3T half & half= 2% milk
                  4T half & half= whole milk

            2. It's possible to enrich milk by reducing it. Boiling off some of the water will increase the butterfat content (by volume), of course, but will also increase the protein content. Not sure how that will work out in a custardy dish like rice pudding.

              1. Just wanted to give you an update on what I did: I simply added 1T of butter to the simmering milk and rice, and it was absolutely fine. BTW, quantity of milk was 1 qt.

                Thanks for all the replies.

                1 Reply