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Jun 16, 2007 10:31 AM

Crema: Help find a warm spot in my cold kitchen.

The recipe I use for homemade crema (thick Mexican sour cream) has me stir buttermilk or sour cream into lukewarm heavy cream. Then let it sit in a warm spot for 12 to 24 hours. (80 or 90 degrees) The problem is my kitchen doesn't get very warm especially overnight. Any ideas for rigging a homemade incubator to help thicken the cream?

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  1. Could you try leaving it in your oven? it's enclosed and doesn't get any air circulation, so I'd guess it's the warmest spot that's readily available.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chloe103

      The oven has no pilot light running so it will get cold overnight. I am thinking about putting a 25 watt bulb on my trouble light in there to keep it warm.

      1. re: Romanmk

        This is a great solution. To get bread to rise, my father would always put it in the oven (not turned on) with the back light on. Produces just enough heat....

    2. Alton Brown suggests using a back warmer (one of those that you plug in) for bread dough. If you have one, it might work. If you have a pizza stone (brick even), put it in the oven, turn it on about 200 deg. for half an hour or so and then turn it off. It should keep it warm for a few hours at least. That's what Cook's Illlustrated recommends for bread dough.

      1. I start my seeds on top of the refrigerator near the back, where the heat rises from the motor. If it works for tomato seeds, maybe it will work for crema.

        1. when i need to rise bread dough, here's what i do: put a microwaveable container (about 2 cup capacity) in the micro, and nuke it until boiling. leave the container in, and also put in the crema. close the door and put a post-it on there, warning people that there is something in there (so they don't open the door and let the heat out, or use it...). the simmering water keeps it warm inside the closed microwave, and the moist air is good for proofing the bread....i think the technique might work for crema, too?

          1 Reply
          1. re: chez cherie

            I use this technique for bread as well, except I just use hot tap water and I use the oven instead of the microwave. Turn the oven light on for good measure.

          2. I've done it in a cold kitchen a number of times. Still works, just takes longer.