Problems with Cream: Separation

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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A common problem with unhomogenized cream is that it continues to separate in the carton: the fat globules slowly rise and concentrate further into a semisolid layer at the top. At refrigerator temperatures, the fat inside the globules forms solid crystals whose edges break through the protective globule membrane, and these slightly protruding fat crystals get stuck to each other and form microscopic butter grains.