Well, finally, I get to say I told you so. Turns out sour milk is perfectly drinkable, albeit in its raw, unpasteurized form. (And it should go without saying, from a healthy pastured animal.)
In fact, leaving milk out to sour was a common way to preserve the milk before pasteurization became the order of the day. Soured raw milk actually tastes sour because of the increased amounts of acid—not an unpleasant taste, especially if you're accustomed to and enjoy the tanginess in sour cream, yogurt or goat's milk. But unlike pasteurized milk, where the sterility opens the floodgates for any number of harmful bacterias to proliferate, raw milk never spoils. It sours, then curdles and separates, but even then, it contains many beneficial nutrients and bacteria.
Which meant my week-old souring milk was just ripe for making yogurt.
Recipe for raw milk yogurt.
- Heat the milk just before the point it's too hot to touch (you should be able to swirl your finger in it without discomfort), which is around 100˚ Fahrenheit.
- Pour into a clean mason jar.
- Add 1/4 cup of yogurt (I used Hawthorne Valley).
- Cover and set it in the oven with the oven light (and pilot light) on. It needs to be maintained at about 95˚ for 8 hours. Or put it in a cooler with some hot water bottles.
- Cool it in the refrigerator.
- Mix in some fruit and honey for a delicious breakfast treat or enjoy plain.
And yes, raw milk is illegal to sell in New York. But you can join in a cow-share, or buy direct from a farm. Find more info at realmilk.com.
Trial and Error
I think I overheated the milk slightly and it came out a little chewy...more like a cottage cheese. But it's still pleasantly tangy and yummy.