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Apr 30, 2009 01:43 PM

Buttermilk - True or False?

So I recently received some of my grandmother's old recipe cards and some of the dishes call for sour milk, which I have heard is what buttermilk used to be called (or maybe still is by some people)???

Additionally, I've heard you can make your own "sour" or buttermilk at home by adding 1 tsp. of lemon juice, per cup of milk. Again, anyone heard of this one? I think it would be great as I always end up buying buttermilk and throwing some of it away because I never seem to use the whole container.

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  1. Yep, you can approximate buttermilk by adding a little acid (either lemon juice or vinegar) to regular milk. I just add a bit at a time, mixing with a spoon, until it starts to curdle. I wouldn't use it in every recipe (never in buttermilk pancakes, for example), but it works for many.

    1 Reply
    1. re: modthyrth

      "Fake buttermilk" pancakes are better than no buttermilk pancakes.


    2. you can use 1 TBSP. of lemon juice or vinegar-allow to stand for 5 min.or so

      1. great! glad to know this "trick" works. I hear you on the buttermilk pancakes though.

        1. Both my grandmothers used to keep soured milk in the fridge to use in those recipes.
          Sometimes it was really curdy. But they always had buttermilk as well, so....I would think they were interchangeable.

          1. If you keep plain yogurt around, I've also found that I can approximate buttermilk by thinning it a little with water or milk until it is the right consistency.

            I also find, like a lot of cultured milk products, buttermilk generally keeps for quite a while past the expiry date. Pour a little in a cup and give it a sniff.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ferdzy

              yeah, me too. i have an expired carton of buttermilk i am still using. weird how buttermilk keep for so long. i just rescued it from my husband's hands the other day. he only looks at labels...

              i like to keep a carton in my fridge nonetheless because i bake on the wknds. And it is nice to be able to whip up pancakes on a whim.

              make ice cream with the leftovers!

              1. re: jeniyo

                I throw buttermilk out when it starts kicking at the refrigerator door...

                1. re: jeniyo

                  "weird how buttermilk keep for so long"

                  The lower pH helps keep it from spoiling fast.