Measure cream to make whole milk? Math challenge

rob333July 4, 2008

I forgot in the whole milk at the store in all the hurry this morning. I have heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2 and 2% milk. I'm trying to come up with 10 cups of "whole milk". I'm too flustered to get it right now. What should the proportions be? I have 2 cups of cream to start with and pretty much unlimited of the other 2.



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I'm not sure you can do this mathematically but I'm betting 1/3 half and half and 2/3 2% will come close enough for most recipes.

Actually I use 2% in any recipe calling for whole milk as I never have whole milk on hand. So far so good! LOL

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 12:37PM
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Whole milk is about 4% fat but if it is unaltered from the cow it will vary some. For 2% milk you need to supply another 2% to get it to 4%. I figure that heavy cream is almost entirely fat - though I haven't checked that and I also don't know if the % is by weight or by volume but roughly mixing 2% cream with milk should get you close to whole milk. For 10 cups, that works out to a bit more than 3 tbsp.

Usually I don't bother and just use the non-fat milk we have on hand - especially if the recipe has a significant amount of butter or other fats. You would probably be fine just using the 2% as chase suggests but if you want to get it closer to whole milk just add a glug of cream or a few tablespoons if you feel compelled to measure. 1/3 half and half would be much richer than that - if half and half is truly half cream mixing 1/3 half and half with 2/3 milk would be about 1/6 cream and there definitely isn't close to that amount of cream in whole milk.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 2:29PM
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It occurred to me that I could get a closer number by looking at the fat in the nutrition info on cream and milk. It turns out that cream isn't as close to all fat as my approximation above assumed.

To make up for the difference between 10 cups of whole and 10 cups 2%, you need about 40 grams of fat.

That's about the amount in half a cup of heavy whipping cream or 1 1/2 cups half and half. That is about 1 part half and half to 6 parts 2% milk.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 2:45PM
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Heavy Cream is about 35-40% fat, depending upon the type.

Whole milk is a little over 3% fat.

I don't know what you're making, but I'm pretty sure you don't have to fuss to carefully with the measurements. Use a cup or 2 of heavy cream and the rest 2% and I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 6:31PM
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It was for ice cream. Really rattled, huh? ;) I just didn't want it too icy. I used CS's aproximations and it was most excellent. It's already completely consumed (with brownies, mmm). Thanks!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 7:03PM
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