Creme Fraiche is pronounced “krem fresh.” It is a thick and smooth heavy cream with a wonderfully rich and velvety texture that is widely used in France, where the cream is unpasteurized and contains the “friendly” bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally.
Since it does not curdle when boiled, it is the ideal thickener for many sauces and soups. Vegetables (particularly potatoes) benefit from a dollop of it. It is also delicious on fresh fruit, cakes, cobblers, and puddings.
Commercial ones are quite expensive, so the homemade version is a life saver.
Check out Linda’s Butters, Condiments, Sauces, Relish and Jelly Recipes for more great cooking ideas.
Creme Fraiche Recipe:
1 cup heavy or whipping cream, room temperature*
2 tablespoon cultured buttermilk, room temperature
* Be sure to use the best, freshest cream you can find. Look for pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized, heavy whipping cream.
In a jar with a lid, place heavy or whipping cream and buttermilk; cover securely and shake 15 seconds. Set aside at room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 24 hours or until very thick. Stir once or twice during that time. NOTE: Cream will thicken faster if the room is warm.
Stir thickened creme fraiche well. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Whipped Creme Fraiche: Beat creme fraiche until soft peaks form (it won’t become stiff).
Sweetened Creme: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered (confectioners) sugar before shaking the cream.
Vanilla-flavored: Stir 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract into creme fraiche just before refrigerating.
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