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Unlike heavy cream, lower-fat substitutes like half-and-half and evaporated milk tend to "break" or curdle when added to sauces. To prevent this from happening, heat the sauce over low or medium heat, or reduce the cream substitute before adding it to the sauce. Don't let the sauce boil. Cream sauces made with lower-fat cream substitutes also tend to have less body; to correct for that, consider adding 1 tablespoon flour or 2 teaspoons cornstarch to the sauce for every cup of evaporated milk substituted. Stir the thickener into a paste first to prevent lumps. Ultra-pasteurized whipping cream is harder to whip and has some unpleasant flavor notes.

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Also known as

  • Heavy whipping cream


creme fraiche (for making cream sauces) OR 1 C heavy cream = ¾ C milk + 1/3 C butter (will not whip) OR light cream (will not whip) OR evaporated milk (especially in cream sauces) OR milk (will not whip; makes cream sauces much less flavorful) OR blend equal parts milk and cottage cheese (Warning: Substituting light cream or milk for heavy cream lowers the amount of fat in a dish, but it makes ice cream and sauces less rich and creamy.) OR pureed cottage cheese OR pureed ricotta cheese OR silken tofu (especially for ice cream--for directions, see the Tofu Ice Cream recipe posted by Veggie Unite!)
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