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Old 01-10-2018, 05:53 PM
Status: "In a winter wonderland" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
31,244 posts, read 39,030,003 times
Reputation: 50391

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Iím stumped.
I always make scalloped potatoes in the same way, and in the same dish. Usually they turn out fine, but today, and one other time a few years ago, something bad happened.

The sauce didnít thicken, but curdled and separated. I added some sweet potato in with the white potato, so Iím wondering if there might be some enzymes in the sweet potato that caused it? I usually use salted butter, but this time it was unsalted. Iíve made them with 1% to half and half and that doesnít seem to affect the end product. The milk was not curdled.

The last time this happened, I used margarine, so that is what I blamed it on.

Anyone? Anyone?

FYI, I donít know how yíall make them, but I layer potato slices, dobs of butter and about a T. of flour, repeat, and fill to within a half inch of the top with milk. Sometimes I add some grated cheese.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:02 PM
 
2,338 posts, read 2,381,234 times
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We make them the same way as you. Every once in awhile they do curdle. Never thought of putting a sweet potato in, we usually just bake them, cut in half, mush up with fork a little, add cinnamon, butter and brown sugar, reheat until sugar is melted and eat !! I would blame everything on margarine, would never let it into my house. I can remember when it first came out (back in the late 40s' or early 50s') and there were 2 tubes that you had to squeeze together to mix it. Tasted horrible then and still does in my book.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,739 posts, read 12,215,158 times
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I think the heat was too high. My creamed based sauces have broken in the past so now I just take the extra time and make a roux.

Preventing curdled sauce in scalloped potatoes - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

Quote:
The curdling is caused by high heat, which is hard to avoid in an oven. So to keep the sauce together, tackle it before the dish goes in the oven. Instead of simply layering grated cheese and milk or cream with the potatoes, you need to make a smooth cheese sauce.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
65,810 posts, read 74,134,095 times
Reputation: 34661
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Iím stumped.
I always make scalloped potatoes in the same way, and in the same dish. Usually they turn out fine, but today, and one other time a few years ago, something bad happened.

The sauce didnít thicken, but curdled and separated. I added some sweet potato in with the white potato, so Iím wondering if there might be some enzymes in the sweet potato that caused it? I usually use salted butter, but this time it was unsalted. Iíve made them with 1% to half and half and that doesnít seem to affect the end product. The milk was not curdled.

The last time this happened, I used margarine, so that is what I blamed it on.

Anyone? Anyone?

FYI, I donít know how yíall make them, but I layer potato slices, dobs of butter and about a T. of flour, repeat, and fill to within a half inch of the top with milk. Sometimes I add some grated cheese.
I don't know why the sweet potato would make a difference. I have never tried mixing them, but sounds pretty good. The only difference in the way you make them and how I do it is: I actually make a white sauce, layer the potatoes, add a little white sauce and repeat. I like to slice onions as well, but that isn't what you are asking.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:01 AM
Status: "In a winter wonderland" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
31,244 posts, read 39,030,003 times
Reputation: 50391
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chong View Post
I think the heat was too high. My creamed based sauces have broken in the past so now I just take the extra time and make a roux.

Preventing curdled sauce in scalloped potatoes - tribunedigital-chicagotribune
Well, it baked at 325 for about an hour. No different than other times, so Iím not sure if that is the reason. If I made a white sauce, the potatoes would still need to bake for an hour or so to cook the potatoes. I guess youíre saying a white sauce wonít break?

It just seems strange that Iíve made them the same way forever, but have only had this happen twice.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Islip,NY
16,006 posts, read 18,099,324 times
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before pouring the white sauce on the potatoes, maybe you could thicken the sauce a little first with some cornstarch.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:29 AM
 
Location: North Oakland
8,399 posts, read 7,462,458 times
Reputation: 12011
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chong View Post
I think the heat was too high. My creamed based sauces have broken in the past so now I just take the extra time and make a roux.

Preventing curdled sauce in scalloped potatoes - tribunedigital-chicagotribune
This happened to a friend one Thanksgiving, and she attributed it to the heat being too high. Do you have an oven thermometer? (I realize you've made scalloped potatoes in the same oven many times, but maybe something happened.)
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:37 AM
 
7,381 posts, read 10,381,258 times
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I just had this happen too. I'm not positive but I think my oven was too hot. Also having your dish on a top rack where the heat rises........
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
4,975 posts, read 1,369,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodpete View Post
We make them the same way as you. Every once in awhile they do curdle. Never thought of putting a sweet potato in, we usually just bake them, cut in half, mush up with fork a little, add cinnamon, butter and brown sugar, reheat until sugar is melted and eat !! I would blame everything on margarine, would never let it into my house. I can remember when it first came out (back in the late 40s' or early 50s') and there were 2 tubes that you had to squeeze together to mix it. Tasted horrible then and still does in my book.
When margarine was put on the market, it was sometime around 1944 or '45. The Dairy Industry had fought hook and claw against it being allowed and had won a concession, that it was not to be colored yellow, but had to be left white, the way it was naturally. The makers of margarine countered this, by putting a little packet of dye in with it, that had to be mixed-in by hand.

We did this mixing just one time and it was a complete mess. The dye would not blend evenly and rumors spread, that it was toxic (they may have been correct). Fortunately, lawmakers quickly rectified this and influenced the Food & Drug Administration to allow coloring of it at the factory. But the Dairy Industry has been successful to this day, of keeping it out of dairy sections and usually displayed at the other end of stores. They caused the same sanctions to be applied to tofu and other soybean products.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:32 PM
Status: "In a winter wonderland" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
31,244 posts, read 39,030,003 times
Reputation: 50391
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubby View Post
before pouring the white sauce on the potatoes, maybe you could thicken the sauce a little first with some cornstarch.
Not sure what you mean, Lubby. If I used a white sauce it would already be thickened.
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