To scald cream, you need to heat it in a pot on the stove to just below the boiling point, which is about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be removed from heat at that time to prevent it from boiling over and givng the cream a scorched taste. Scalding cream is most often called for when infusing other flavors into the cream for a specific recipe, including ice cream flavors.
- Pour light or heavy cream in a saucepan
Pour the heavy cream into a large saucepan. Use a heavy-bottomed pot to keep the cream from burning easily. You may also use a double boiler to avoid burning the cream. The cream level should reach no more than halfway up the saucepan to prevent a mess if it accidentally starts to boil over.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat
Turn the burner on to a medium-low to medium heat. Watch the cream closely to make sure it does not start to boil.
- Remove the cream from the heat just before boiling
Wait for small bubbles to start forming on the edges of the cream, and then immediately remove it from the heat. Depending on the recipe you are using the scalded cream for, you may need to let it cool to a certain temperature before using it.
To scald cream using the microwave, measure the desired amount of liquid into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in one-minute increments until the cream is hot. Return to the microwave, and heat for 30-second spans until the cream is bubbly. You can also use the milk frother mechanism on a cappuccino maker to heat cream.
Scalding cream or milk is a cooking method traditionally employed in older recipes that were written in a time when dairy pasteurization was not common. By heating the cream, cooks were able to kill any bacteria, harmful or otherwise, in the liquid, thus preventing the spread of illness. Scalding cream or milk is still used in modern cooking as of 2015 although the main reason now is to infuse the cream with a specific spice or flavor.