First things first, what exactly is "Half & Half?" Well, as the name suggests it is a mixture of half milk and half light cream, and it usually has a fat content somewhere between 10.5% and 12 percent.
So, what happens if you need half & half and don't have any on hand? There's several options:
- The easiest substitution would be to simply mix a 1/2 cup light cream* plus 1/2 cup milk. The only problem is that you can't commonly find "light cream" (16% to 29% fat), you're more likely to have "light whipping cream" or "heavy whipping cream" on hand. In that case...
- If you have light whipping cream* and milk, combine three parts whole milk and one part light whipping cream. So, 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup light whipping cream would equal 1 cup half & half.
- If you have heavy whipping cream* and milk, combine four parts whole milk and one part heavy whipping cream.
- And, if you don't have any type of cream in the house, you can combine 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (softened) plus about 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk to equal approximately 1 cup of half and half.
*Light cream, light whipping cream, and heavy whipping cream are NOT all the same thing. Each one has a higher butterfat percentage than the previous. Don't confuse them - you might be setting yourself up for a recipe fail.