How To Make Mock Creme Fraiche
Mock creme fraiche is not real creme fraiche. For the real stuff you have to go to France. Real creme fraiche is what happens when unpasteurized cream matures on its own. Mock creme fraiche is what happens when you introduce lactic bacteria to pasteurized cream and let it ferment.
Creme fraiche is pronounced “krem fresh.” It is a thick and smooth heavy cream with a wonderfully rich and velvety texture. Creme Fraiche is widely used in France, where the cream is unpasteurized and contains the “friendly” bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally.
Since creme fraiche 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 creme fraiche is quite expensive, so the homemade version is a life saver.
Check out Linda’s Butters, Condiments, Sauces, Relish and Jelly Recipes for more great ideas.
In a jar with a lid, place whipping cream and buttermilk or sour cream; cover securely and shake 15 seconds. Set aside at room temperature for 24 hours or until very thick. Stir once or twice during that time. NOTE: Cream will thicken faster if the room is warm. If it turns out that it's too thin, try to keep it in a warm place and continue fermenting it.
Hint: Preheat oven at 200 degrees F. Then turn oven off and place the jar with the cream in the oven.
Stir thickened creme fraiche well. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
* You want to start this process when your cream is still fresh. Do not use cream that has been in your refrigerator for a week. Use the freshest cream you can purchase. Pasteurized cream is fine, but not ultra-pasteurized.
Mock Creme Fraiche Variation Ideas:
Whipped Creme Fraiche: Beat creme fraiche until soft peaks form (it won’t become stiff).
Sweetened Creme Fraiche: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered (confectioners) sugar before shaking the cream.
Vanilla-Flavored Creme Fraiche: Stir 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract into creme fraiche just before refrigerating.
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