In this article, we will answer the question “How to add lemon juice to milk without curdling?”, how to curdle milk, how to prevent the milk from curdling, and how to make a buttermilk substitute.
How to add lemon juice to milk without curdling?
Mixing cornstarch or flour to cold milk before heating it and stirring in the lemon juice prevents the milk from curdling. Cornstarch is preferred over flour for this hack.
How to curdle milk? (3 Ways)
What you’ll need
Yields 1 cup (250 ml) curdled milk
- 1 cup (250 ml) dairy or soy milk
- 1 to 4 tsp (5 to 20 ml) lemon juice, orange juice, or vinegar (optional)
- Pour milk into a saucepan and gently heat it until steam starts to form. Heating the milk before stirring in the acid expedites the curdling. Plus it yields much larger, bulkier, and distinct curds, such as those needed in cheesemaking. Skip this step if you are fine with smaller curds.
- While the milk is still hot, stir in lemon juice, orange juice, or vinegar. Using a stronger acid in a larger quantity makes larger curds and vice versa. When the acid is added to milk, the casein protein in milk loses its negative charge and curdles.
- Let the milk sit undisturbed for about 5-10 minutes while it curdles.
- Use the curdled milk as-is or drain the excess whey by packing it in cheesecloth and hanging the cloth for several hours or up to a day, depending on how dry you want it.
- This method involves curdling the milk with heat. Frot this to happen, the milk needed to be boiled at 180F or 82C. Whole milk, due to its higher fat content, takes longer to curdle as compared to skim milk. Note that heat curdles milk to a grainy texture. It does not form large curds.
- Use a clip-on instant food thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of the milk. Refrain from frequently stirring the milk while it boils as it will delay the curdling. Occasional stirring is encouraged to allow a uniform distribution of heat.
- Boil the milk at 180F for 1-2 minutes, then turn off the flame. Let it sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.
- Use the cursed milk as-is or strain it by pouring it into a cheesecloth. Hang the cheesecloth to let the whey drip slowly.
- Heating the soy milk is an optional step but it expedites the curdling and results in the formation of a greater number of curds with a more firm texture. Skip heating if you want to curdle your soy milk to a grainy consistency with smaller and softer curds.
- Use 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of lemon juice to curdle every 1 cup (250 ml) of soy milk. Stir the acid into hot soy milk. Remove the milk from the stovetop and let it sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes. Let the milk sit for longer or heat it again for bigger, more distinct curds.
- Sue the curdled soy milk as-is or strain it by wrapping it in cheesecloth and allowing the cheesecloth to hang for several hours. It is important if you intend to use soy milk curdles for cheesemaking.
How to prevent the milk from curdling?
Mixing cornstarch or flour in milk makes while also prevents it from curdling. Use 1 tsp (5 ml) of cornstarch or flour for every 1/2 cup (125 ml) of milk.
Make sure to mix the cornstarch or flour in cold milk. Then you can safely heat the milk and mix it with acidic ingredients. The milk won’t curdle!
To prevent the milk from curdling, it should not be heated above 180F or 82C. Use a clip-on instant food thermometer to make sure the milk does not reach this temperature.
The thermometer easily clings to the edge of the pan such that the bulb is in direct contact with the surface of the milk. If the bulb is in direct contact with the bottom of the saucepan, you will get an incorrect temperature reading. Because the pan is hotter than the milk.
Mix the acid with milk
Pouring coffee, over milk often causes the milk to curdle. To avoid this from happening, reverse the mixing steps, that is, add coffee into the cup, then pour milk from the top. Moreover, using lukewarm or cold coffee will make it less likely to curdle your milk, dairy or non-dairy.
How to make a buttermilk substitute?
- 1 scant cup whole or 2% milk, or heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white vinegar
- Pour milk into a cup. Then stir in the lemon juice or vinegar.
- Wait for 5-10 minutes or until you start to notice the milk curdling and thickening.
- Use the curdled mixture as an alternative to buttermilk in baking and cooking.
In this article, we answered the question “How to add lemon juice to milk without curdling?”, how to curdle milk, how to prevent the milk from curdling, and how to make a buttermilk substitute.