How To Make Creme Fraiche

How to make Creme Fraiche




Creme Fraiche

At FourKidsAndAChicken.com, we love to make our own foods. That’s why you see us making everything from our own homemade pickles to butter. Today, we are adding to our list of homemade goodies by making a simple Creme Fraiche. Creme Fraiche is a cream that has been very lightly soured with a culture from buttermilk. The buttermilk culture and the technique used gives the creme a sharp flavor, rather than a sour flavor you would expect of a sour creme. Unlike sour cream, creme fraiche has the consistency closer to a whipped cream.

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What is Creme Fraiche

In short, Creme Fraiche is the product made when adding an acidifying culture to cream. We do this by adding a little bit of buttermilk to heavy cream. Creme Fraiche is similar in taste and uses to sour cream, except it is a lot more delicate and has a much more rounded and satisfying taste to it. The tricky part of Creme Fraiche is that is it not sold at many stores because it is a live culture and will go bad after a short amount of time, but making it at home is very simple and rewarding even for a beginner. If you can’t find it at the store, I will show you step by step directions that are incredibly simple to follow. Just give yourself a day in advance to prepare the creme fraiche for your meal. 

How to Make Creme Fraiche

Was that too science-y? Here is a very simple explanation of what we are doing: Creme Fraiche is just a culture that is made when combining two very common dairy products. When you go to a store and by cream, it is pasteurized. In other words, the cream has been heated to kill the active cultures so that it has a longer shelf life. This is important because the cream has a lot of fat that is a food source for those cultures and without pasteurizing, the creme would quickly turn into a bad cheese. However, buttermilk is very different. Buttermilk is what is left over after you make butter. Butter is basically made by agitating cream so that the fats coagulate onto each other forming butter. What is left is the bacterias and cultures without the fats so it too is more stable.

To make Creme Fraiche, we need to use the fats in the cream and bacteria in the buttermilk. Together, these bacteria acidify the cream and thicken it just a little bit. Overnight, On Making Creme Fraiche – these bacteria will make rabbits look sterile and reproduce so many times that by morning, you will have a completely different food in your jar than you went to bed with Click To Tweet.

Here’s our favorite recipe to make creme fraiche below.

Homemade Creme Fraiche Recipe

Because you are dealing with active cultures, minor changes in your cooking technique can change the final product. I’ve read some people swear by not heating the ingredients, others say it is a surefire way to start the culture. I personally heat it over very low heat to about 80 degrees. I’ll give details on how I make it below but the point here is it may not be important to do it exactly as I do, but rather just to mix the liquids and give it time.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
  • 2 cups pasteurized heavy cream

Equipment

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Directions

Pour the cream and buttermilk into a pan and warm it over very low heat until it reaches about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as cold water inhibits reproduction in many species, warm water tends to the opposite and this little bit of heating seems to get these guys in the mood. 

Once heated, pour the mixture into a CLEAN mason jar and cover with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Mason jars are great because the rims can be tightened over the cloth or paper towel.

Let it sit on your counter for 6 to 24 hours until it begins to thicken. Stir, and then refrigerate for an additional 24 hours.

At that point, your creme fraiche is done and you can use it for up to a week keeping it in the fridge.

Printable Creme Fraiche Recipe

How To Make Creme Fraiche

A classic creme fraiche that can be made in your own kitchen

10 minPrep Time

24 hrCook Time

24 hr, 10 Total Time

Yields 1 jar

Author:

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
  • 2 cups pasteurized heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pour the cream and buttermilk into a pan and warm it over very low heat until it reaches about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as cold water inhibits reproduction in many species, warm water tends to the opposite and this little bit of heating seems to get these guys in the mood. 
  2. Once heated, pour the mixture into a CLEAN mason jar and cover with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Mason jars are great because the rims can be tightened over the cloth or paper towel.
  3. Let it sit on your counter for 6 to 24 hours until it begins to thicken. Stir, and then refrigerate for an additional 24 hours.
  4. At that point, your creme fraiche is done and you can use it for up to a week keeping it in the fridge.
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Creme Fraiche Substitute

If for some reason, you can’t make or buy creme fraiche, you can substitute it. Consider using a plain yogurt or sour cream as a creme fraiche substitute. Click To Tweet The advantages of a yogurt are they have similar consistency if mixing it into a larger dish and they have similar acidity. However, sour cream is probably the closest thing to creme fraiche. The differences are that a sour cream will add a sourness to the recipe and that may be the very thing you are trying to avoid with creme fraiche.

If you have used something else as a substitute, please let us know!

Good luck with your Creme Fraiche! If you want to see some recipes we have used it in, please read:

Other Homemade Ingredients

 

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