Clabber Milk

We love buttermilk but unfortunately I have never seen it on the dairy shelves here on the coast of Ecuador.  So again like Little House on The Prairie, Pequena Casa en la Costa has decided to make it from scratch.  I know all about using lemon juice or vinegar but Joe does not have a tolerance for either so I needed to find another solution. And there are cultures if you lived someplace where you could buy them. But again that is not available here.  This is actually clabber milk which is very similar to buttermilk.

According to all that I have read it is a good substitute for buttermilk in most recipes.  First you must start with raw milk.  We have a good supply of raw milk here so I was ready. I took one cup of “still warm from the cow” raw milk (older milk will work faster)  and put it in a clean glass jar. Place the lid on top but loose and cover with a coffee filter or paper towel held around the jar with an elastic band. This keeps out any critters. Place on the kitchen counter and walk away as it does its thing!

Allow it sit for a day and check it, it should start to separate and look like pudding or yogurt. It took mine two days to get this look because I used fresh milk.  My goal was to make one quart of buttermilk.  Now add another two cups of milk, stir and allow it to sit until it starts to separate like the first cup. This could happen in a matter of hours so keep and eye on your jar.  I added one more cup of store milk.  The original must be raw milk but the next three cups can be regular store-bought milk.

If it has an off smell or discolors you should not use it. Something went wrong in your process.

It was not as tart as normal buttermilk but it worked well in my recipe. Yum!


4 thoughts on “Clabber Milk

    • Hi Deb, Mostly I use the milk for cooking. Like making the clabber, I used it in recipes where I cook the milk so it should be safe after cooking. I know both the farmers and have visited Jose’s farm and have seen his cattle. They look well fed and taken care of and the area is well maintained. I made buttermilk waffles on Sunday and make a soup using the clabber. When we were kids our dad had cows and we had fresh from the cow milk all the time. Of course that was back in the 50’s and things were very different then. Nancy

      • Thanks, Nan for explaining about the raw milk. You are right. It is important to see the source of the raw milk and how sanitary the conditions are. I don’t think Inwould ever drink raw milk again from Nicaragua. The conditions in which they are milked are less than sanitary and I just don’t trust the conditions I have seen. I would love to make buttermilk, but I am so afraid of using raw milk. Ron was in the hospital for two days from drinking raw milk.

        • Deb, because I have the same fears that everyone has about raw milk, thanks to the FDA in the US, I only use it if I am going to cook with it. Jose’s is so rich and full of cream that I have used it to make tapioca and rice puddings with great success. Not sure that I would just pour myself a glass and glug it down…Never would have had a second thought when Dad would bring the milk in but today you have to be so careful. Nancy

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