By Christina Lee

Heavy cream, sometimes sold as whipping cream or heavy whipping cream, is cream with a fat content of 36% or more. It enriches sauces and often appears in traditional French and Italian sauces. As a home cook, you may wish to avoid its high saturated fat content. At other times, you may not have it on hand. Fortunately, you can create a versatile creamy white sauce with a little less fat and a few ingredients that you probably have in your home.

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Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a pan over low heat until it melts and starts to bubble.

Whisk in 2 tbsp. flour. Stir vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, so it cooks fully.

Turn heat to medium. Continue stirring.

Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the flour and butter. Stir for a few seconds, until the mixture begins to bubble.

Warm 1 1/2 cups whole milk and add it to the sauce mixture as soon as you see it start to bubble. This prevents the ingredients from burning.

Stir rapidly; do not stop because this can lead to burning. The mixture will begin to evaporate, or reduce.

Stir for 5 to 10 minutes, until your sauce reaches the desired creaminess. The longer it cooks, the thicker the sauce becomes. There is no correct consistency here; just taste and cook until you are happy with the result.