Tips and Tricks: plastic wrap

July 22nd, 2008 by katie

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Tired of watery sour cream? Ice crystals on your ice cream? Well the answer to these and many other kitchen problems is a plastic wrap strategy session. Prepare to be amazed.

Mr. Chaos can happily sit down and polish off a pint of ice cream. I, on the other hand, like to enjoy the cold stuff a little less frequently. But when I do, its for real. I need it and I need it now. So when I pop the top off of my pint of banana split Haagen Dazs after weeks of hibernation and it’s covered in ice crystals, I am more than a little disappointed. Likewise, with homemade ice cream a little goes a long way. I hate putting in all that work just to have it ruined after a few weeks. The solution? Smooth out the ice cream and press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface and up the sides of the container. Then put the lid on and viola! Ice crystal free ice cream for weeks, even months.

The “trick” is you are pressing out all of the air and making the food as air-tight as possible. It actually works in several situations, like keeping guacamole green (at least for a couple days) and keeping other frozen foods ice crystal free as well. It also prevents custards and puddings from developing the “skin” on top during the cooling/setting stage.

My most common use for plastic wrap: I can’t stand that goopy water that develops on top of sour cream and yogurt, and when I try to pour it off I inevitably can’t get it all or pour half my sour cream down the drain as well. To prevent the separation all together, do the same as for ice cream: smooth the top and press your plastic wrap against the surface and up the sides before putting the lid back on. When you’re ready to use it just lift the plastic wrap back and you’ll have thick, creamy sour cream and yogurt with no liquid separation.

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2 Responses

  1. Tiffany

    Excellent tip! I have some sour cream in my fridge threatening to separate and I’m going to go keep that from happening!

  2. Paul

    Great tip about ice cream; I especially appreciate it as I think I’m about to embark on a homemade ice cream experiment. I don’t think I’d bother with it for the yogurt or sour cream, though. I can see how it would be hard to pour it off, but I’ve always just grabbed a large spoon and stirred it back in. That’s easy enough, and so it’s never seemed like anything I needed to take particular measures to avoid.

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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