The Ultimate Creme Fraiche Recipe – Guys, have you SEEN the prices for this stuff in the stores lately?? Whoo.. pricey!! Hey, save that moola and MAKE YOUR OWN CREME FRAICHE!!
MAKE YOUR OWN CREME FRAICHE!
Normally you might see creme fraiche spelled “crème fraîche” with the accents on the letters. This is because creme fraiche originated in France so naturally it would have a very French name. In most grocery stores, the sticker tag will spell it “creme fraiche”, without the accents.
Thought I’d just let you know that.. lol
Ok, so whether you’re a dessert enthusiast or have just been experimenting with recipes lately, you may have come across creme fraiche and you probably want to even start making it yourself as opposed to just picking up store-bought versions of it.
Well, you’re in luck, because here’s the ultimate crème fraîche recipe you’ll really need. This creme fraiche recipe is part of my ‘Back to Basics’ series and is a cooking fundamental you would want to know. What’s best is the fact that the recipe is incredibly easy, and you’ll be surprised at the payoff you would get with such minimal effort.
Creme Fraiche vs Sour Cream
Okay, let’s clear this up. You’re probably still confused about the difference between sour cream and crème fraîche, and may even be considering them as interchangeable. But guess what? Not so much.
I mean, ok, in a pinch, maybe? If you toned down the sour cream with a tad bit of heavy cream, but really, it’s just much nicer to use proper crème fraîche.
Originated in France, crème fraîche is like if regular heavy whipping cream and sour cream had a baby! So rich and luxurious texture on the tongue, with much less of a tang that sour cream has in flavor.
Sour cream actually has a fat content of around 20% and usually includes additional ingredients like rennin and vegetable enzymes into the mix. Let’s not forget about its distinct super tangy flavor as well.
Crème fraîche, in contrast, has around 30% fat content, and no additional thickeners or stabilizing agents. It has a much richer texture and flavor and has a mildly tangy taste like sour cream, but fresher if that makes any sense.
Creme Fraiche vs Mascarpone
Mascarpone is similar to cream cheese, but it’s origins come from Italy. It’s made using bacterial cultures like creme fraiche, and also uses whole cream, but the cultures used are different, so the flavors are quite different, making the two products different things with different flavor profiles.
Mascarpone is compared to cream cheese in the United States, but it has a much richer and creamier flavor than regular cream cheese.
Getting it Right
So how do you get started with it really? All you need is some whole fresh cream. In other terms, this is heavy whipping cream. You’ll also need some cultured buttermilk and a glass jar. That’s it.
Combine the two ingredients in the right proportions (see recipe below), pour the mixture into a glass jar and cover it with a piece of cheesecloth.
Let the glass jar stay at room temperature for an entire day or even overnight. After 24 hours, stir the mixture, it should be thicker than when you started!
If it’s not as thick as you would like, leave it a bit longer.
When it’s ready, screw the lid on top and pop it into the refrigerator. Let it refrigerate for at least 24 hours before you use it.
Putting that Decadent Crème Fraîche to Use
And now finally comes the exciting part- putting the actual luscious cream spread you just made to some good use.
- You can create a bowl of herbed crème fraîche by combining some of it with some freshly chopped herbs (think dill, coriander, etc). This can work great as a dip for accompaniments and even on top of roasted veggies like carrots.
- Try topping baked potatoes with the creme fraiche, like this Smoky Bacon Hasselback Potatoes!
- Also, dip your grilled cheese sandwiches into a dollop of creme fraiche, it’s delicious!
- Use it as a base for different baked tarts and such, like this Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart.
- Use crème fraîche as a base for salad dressings.
- Thicken your soups and lend them a nice creamy and delicious flavor by adding some crème fraîche into the mix.
- Looking to take your pasta sauce up a notch? Crème fraîche can do that for you too! Add a dollop or two to fresh pasta with a sprinkle of salt,, YUMMY!
- Adding a tad bit of sugar gives you a slightly sweet/sour flavor with a creamy texture, which makes it a great choice for dessert preparations like these chocolate pots.
- You can also use crème fraîche as a topping on muffins and cakes, or whip up a quick homemade ice cream using it as the base ingredient.
Using Crème Fraîche like whipped cream
Yes, you CAN whip it just like whipped cream! Be sure to use a chilled metal/glass bowl, and chill the creme fraiche before you attempt it. The coolness will help it whip faster, and give you fluffier peaks!
How long will the Creme Fraiche keep in the fridge?
Because creme fraiche is somewhat fermented (I know, I know, the term is freaky, but the product is totally fine! The fermentation gives it the tangy flavor), it can last as long as sour cream would last in your fridge.
So, I’d say around two weeks or so if kept in a glass container and airtight lid.
Can I Freeze Creme Fraiche?
You can, yes. I’ve never done it, but I know you can freeze it for up to 4 months. The problem comes in when we’re talking about the thawing process. The water may separate from the cream and get all discolored and funky looking. However, there are ways to bring it back to life, as described in this article from Can You Freeze This.
Loved my simple creme fraiche recipe? Don’t forget to share it and spread the love (and yumminess!). Thanks so much for stopping by The Salty Pot today and I hope you have a fantastic day!!
- 2 cups of fresh, heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp of cultured buttermilk
- Place the heavy whipping cream into a glass container or jar big enough to hold over 2 cups of liquid.
- Mix the 4 tbsp of buttermilk into the cream, stirring with a plastic or wood stir stick. Try not to use metal.
- Cover the cream with a loose lid, or preferably, a section of cheesecloth, and bind it with an elastic band.
- Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 24 -48 hours. *see notes
Do not be alarmed for the cream to sit at room temperature for so long. It will not 'sour' per se, it will culture, and begin to become something a sour cream if that makes any sense. It is a development of fermentation, a bacterial culture that is working on the cream, very similar to probiotics that are healthy for your gut.
You want the creme fraiche to have the consistency of a slightly looser sour cream. Very thick and creamy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 103Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g