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Separated heavy cream

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I finally want to use extra heavy cream that I bought for the holidays. The expiration dates were 12/27/12 and 12/10/12 but my fridge is cold enough and things often last past the dates. The only issue is that the cream separated, and there appears to be a very thick layer of butterfat on the top. The cream below tastes and smells fine. I'm assuming it's okay to use and there's no risk of bacteria or anything. They were both pasteurized and homogenized.

If anybody thinks they should be tossed, let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to make something with them today. Thanks.

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  1. check the color, and the smell... "when in doubt, don't" is my rule. $3.00 for cream is cheaper than a trip to the ER

    1 Reply
    1. re: rmarisco

      Smells and tastes fine, and I'm pretty sensitive to the slightest sourness. The only reason I hesitate to toss is that I have so much of it on hand. But I do care about safety.

    2. If they smell fine, use them. This has happened to me with some regularity. If I don't use the cream for baking or caramel sauce, I reduce it by almost half and then freeze it. I use the reduced cream by the spoonful to enrich other dishes and to add to cooked spinach in place of butter.

      1. The cream is Trader Joe's. Did some googling and apparently their cream isn't ultrapasteurized, so it's more likely to separate. Supposedly the stuff on the bottom is fine it if tastes good. I tossed the older stuff and am keeping the stuff rom 12/27, which really does smell and taste fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Clarissa

          That's exactly what I would have done!