I let some heavy cream sit too long in the fridge, now it's much thicker, almost solid. Does this equal something like sour cream? Can I make something with this?
It might have a little tang like creme fraiche but in my experience, it mostly acts like heavy cream. As long as it doesn't taste like it has turned, it's totally fine to use!
I discovered one of those in my fridge just last evening. Since I'd bought another - hence the neglect of the forgotten first one - I decided to turn it into creme fraiche. But do give it the taste test and decide from there.
In my opinion, if it has thickened some kind of culture multiplication has been initiated. Trust your taste and nose since it was an unobserved and uncontrolled process in this case. You might have an ok product in the sour cream family. You could use it in something baked instead of as is.
It happened to me once in a crammed fridge but I discarded it because it was just a little bit. I have been wondering since what effect does the closed container environment have on the culturing process, if Amanda or Boulangere happen to know.
It's better to not use creams when it's old : creme fraîche , sour cream or liquid cream. Those products should be consumed within 3 days after the opening of the pot, and always having been tasted.
Otherwise you risque a food poisoning by Staphylococcus aureus or listeriosis.
My wife Nina and I found some Organic Whipped Cream in the spare 'frige that had been there for 2 months and had expired 6 weeks earlier (by stamped expiration date on carton). It appeared to be solid when we opened each one. No unpleasant odor. There was about an inch to 1 1/2 inches of a solid whitish substance and a liquid below.
We opted to open each carton, pour the liquid in one mixing bowl and scrape the solid into another. The liquid looked like Half and Half, solid looked very much like Cream Cheese. Again no smell. One container had mold on the inside seam of the carton and even though it didn't smell we tossed that carton. We performed taste testing and each seemed fine. The Cream left over was still good and rich, still sweet. We used it for Clam Chowder.. and it was YUMMY!!
Regarding the Solid portion, we decided to put it to a heat test, so we toasted a bagel. It melted like butter, so we are calling it butter(ish) and plan to continue to use it as such. It does look like cream cheese but melts like and re-congeals into what looks like uncolored butter.