‘Cream of Tartar’ Uses

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CreamTartar Cream of Tartar UsesCream of tartar (potassium bitartrate/potassium hydrogen bitartrate/potassium acid tartrate) is a by-product of the wine-making process. It is obtained from a crystalline acid that deposits on the sides of wine barrels. Here are ways to use it.

  1. Use it to keep beaten egg whites from drying out. When beating egg whites, the addition of cream of tartar creates a chemical reaction that lets the egg whites reach maximum volume and also prevents them from drying out. The same chemical reaction occurs when egg whites are beaten in an unlined copper bowl.
  2. Add cream of tartar to whipping cream. It stabilizes the cream after it has been whipped. Just add a pinch.
  3. Prevent sugar from crystallizing. Adding cream of tartar to sugar as it is cooking (for making candies, etc.) will help prevent crystallization of the sugar. This makes the sugar ideal for candies and frosting, as the texture ends up being creamier.
  4. Make your own baking powder using cream of tartar. Combine two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda and one part cornstarch.
  5. Clean with cream of tartar:
    • Clean a tub stain: Fill a small cup with cream of tartar; gradually add drops of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Use this paste to cleanse a bathtub stain; simply apply, leave to dry, and then wipe off. The stain will come off with it.

    • Fix discolored aluminum pots: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Bring to a boil in the discolored pot for 10 minutes. Discard and the stain should be gone. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware.
Tips
  • Cream of tartar is usually sold in the baking section of the supermarket.
  • Store cream of tartar away from humidity. It will form lumps and eventually clump together if humidity affects it. Store in a cool, dry place and replace if it clumps. If kept in an airtight container, it can last for a long time.
  • While it is possible to substitute cream of tartar, it’s not really an ingredient that should be substituted and it is best to get the cream of tartar if you can.
  • Grapes are the only significant source of tartaric acid; hence the production of it from wine-making.

Warnings
  • Cream of tartar has a high potassium content. Be aware of that if you have kidney disease or cannot pass potassium easily.
  • Too much cream of tartar can have a laxative effect but in the usual small amounts it is used, it should be fine.

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