When You Actually Should Use Skim Milk

Skim milk doesn't have the most delicious reputation, but there are times when a leaner milk actually works to your advantage. As Dessert Empress Stella Parks points out in the article below, there are times when richness can obscure and mute, rather than enhance flavours.

Photo by Vicky Wasik.

Obviously, skim milk shouldn't be used in foods where dairy is providing the bulk of the "fat, flavour and body," but Parks has plenty of recipes where it actually enhances the final product. Click the link below to get a peep at all of them, but these are my three favourites:

  • The Most Chocolaty Chocolate Cream Pie: This pie, which gets its richness from egg yolks and high-fat dutch cocoa, actually tastes darker when you use skim milk, as the "milk solids have a way of muting chocolate's flavour."

  • Classic Blueberry Muffins: Milk's main job in this recipe is to hydrate your dry ingredients and get that gluten going. That will happen with skim or full-fat, so use whatever you have on hand.
  • Extremely Refreshing Fudgsicles: As with the above pie, using a milk with fewer milk solids gives you an ice block that tastes darker and chocolatier and a lighter milk makes for a lighter, more refreshing frozen treat.

It's important to note that none of this has anything to do with "dieting" or "cutting kilojoules", but rather "acknowledging milk's role as a water/lactose delivery system rather than a source of fat in most desserts". I won't be using skim milk to make gelato any time soon, but I won't be throwing it out either. (Because I want that pie, damn it.)

In Praise of Skim Milk [Serious Eats]


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