Separating cream from milk is the source for light cream, heavy cream, coffee cream, table cream, whipping cream, single cream and double cream. The type of cream is determined by the percentage of fat in the cream. There are two methods you can use to separate cream from milk.
- Skill level:
Get fresh whole cow or goat milk. If the milk has been homogenized, you won't be able to separate the cream.
Pour the milk into a shallow, flat dish and let gravity work. If it's given enough time, gravity naturally separates sediments and liquids that don't mix. Place the dish in a cool place and allow it to sit for 12 to 24 hours.
Use a spoon or ladle to gently collect the cream, which rises to the surface of the dish. The milk remains underneath. You must skim the only the surface to keep from mixing the cream with the milk.
Store the cream in a clean, covered container. Keep the cream in the refrigerator to prevent the cream from spoiling. Cream made using this method has about 25 percent fat.
Use the Gravity Method
Use a centrifuged cream separator to quickly and efficiently separate cream from whole cow or goat milk. Pour the milk into a bowl and pass it through the central tubular shaft to begin.
Centrifuge the milk. The faster you spin the bowl, the heavier the cream. Some cream separators have program settings that allow you to set the fat percentage. Typically the fat percentage ranges from 18 to 48 percent. Turn on the motor and crank.
Collect the cream. The force of spin causes the cream to separate from the milk. The cream dispenses in a separate container than the milk. Store it in a covered container in the fridge.