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1% instead of whole milk?

I have a recipe that calls for a 1:1 ratio of whole milk and cream. I never mind buying cream, but since 1% is our daily use milk, I don't want to have a lot of left over whole milk. I would only need a cup of it for the recipe. Can I just use 1% and change up the ratio a bit? Should I use a 1:2 ratio, or even more cream than that?


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  1. I bet you could.

    If for instance you were making Crème anglaise, who would notice the 1% milk if you have
    given the dish an extra dash of cream.

    1. No problem at all. I wouldn't even bother changing the ratio.

      1. Can you tell us what you're making, just to be safe? It's probably fine, but it might matter if it's ice cream, or a sauce that relies on cream for thickening, or something like that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jvanderh

          It is the creamed collards in the new Bon Appetit. Similar to a creamed spinach but with collards instead (which we get weekly in our CSA, so were happy for a new preparation idea). There is a roux made with flour and bacon fat. I'm thinking it actually won't hurt to have it slightly lightened up, but the thickening issue was what concerned me.

          1. re: centralpadiner

            I think you'll be perfectly fine. If it comes out too loose, puree some of it and stir it back in, or make a little extra roux with oil or butter and stir that in. But, I think it'll be fine.

        2. This is standard cooking in my kitchen 1% and half and half. I only buy whole milk if I am cooking for a crowd.

          1. I've been substituting 1% for whole for years without any consequences, so no doubt you'll be OK. But dont stores (or at least convenience stores) still sell milk in little half-pint cartons?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fydeaux

              Cream yes, in my grocery store not milk. Hmm..... maybe those little plastic bottles intended for drinking on the go. I know you mean the ones sold with school lunches, but I haven't seen those in the store for years. I think I will just go with the substitution. One less extra thing to buy.

            2. I make dauphinoise from a recipe (now loosely memorised) that originally calls for 1:1 of whole milk and cream. I've always used 1% (for the milk portion) and never had a problem.

              1. Whole milk is only about 3% fat, something many people don't realize. So it's a very slight difference that you probably couldn't ever perceive.

                1. If you buy double cream or extra rich cream, it has more butterfat than regular cream. That'll more than make up for the reduced fat in the milk.