Velvety Homemade Creme Fraiche: A Simple and Luxurious Recipe

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Discover how to create thick and creamy homemade crème fraîche with just 2 ingredients: cream and buttermilk. This recipe, perfect for enriching sauces or topping desserts, hails from France, where the tangy flavor of crème fraîche has been savored for centuries.

Suited for special occasions or to elevate everyday meals, this homemade version rivals the store-bought variety, offering a fresher taste and a sense of culinary accomplishment.

Combining 1 cup heavy cream with cultured buttermilk, allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, transforming it into a luxurious condiment.

Whether served alongside smoked salmon or dolloped on mashed potatoes, homemade crème fraîche, with its monounsaturated fat content, is a healthier alternative to whipped cream or sour cream.

creme fraiche

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt

Instructions

Step 1: Measure Cream

Begin by pouring 1 cup of heavy cream into a jar or container.

Step 2: Add Other Ingredients

Stir in 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt, ensuring the cream and buttermilk are well combined. The cultures in the buttermilk are essential, as they will help the cream to thicken into crème fraîche.

Step 3: Allow the Mixture to Sit

Cover the jar with a lid or a clean cloth, allowing the mixture to sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours or until it reaches a thick consistency.

Step 4: Refrigerate

Once the desired thickness is achieved, stir the mixture one final time, then cover and refrigerate. The cold environment will cease culturing and further thicken the crème fraîche. Enjoy your homemade condiment as a rich and tangy addition to various dishes.

Optional Additions/Variations

To personalize your crème fraîche, add herbs or spices for enhanced flavor. A touch of lemon juice can impart a bright note, while a pinch of chili adds warmth and depth. For dietary modifications, try using a lactose-free cream or a dairy-free plain yogurt alternative to cater to various dietary restrictions.

Nutritional Information

The nutritional profile of homemade crème fraîche includes a balance of fats, primarily monounsaturated fat, proteins, and a moderate amount of carbohydrates. A typical serving size offers a rich source of energy and essential nutrients. However, as with all dairy products, portion control is advised to maintain a balanced diet.

If you’re monitoring your calorie intake, crème fraîche contains fewer calories and fat content than sour cream, making it a preferred option for a healthier alternative. A registered dietitian can offer more detailed nutritional advice tailored to individual dietary needs and preferences.

Cooking Tips

For the best results, avoid using ultra-pasteurized cream, as it may not culture properly. Instead, opt for organic cream with active cultures for a more reliable fermentation.

If your crème fraîche doesn’t thicken as expected, add a bit more cultured buttermilk and allow it to sit longer. Don’t forget to serve your homemade crème fraîche to accompany grilled meats or as a garnish for soups and stews.

Equipment Needed:

  • Glass jar or non-reactive container with a lid
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon for stirring

Preparation Time

The entire process of making homemade crème fraîche takes a minimum of 12 hours to allow the cultures to work their magic, with an additional 5 minutes of active preparation time. Store in an airtight container, such as a glass jar, and cover tightly to ensure the best results.

Serving Suggestions

Crème fraîche, with its versatile ingredient profile, can be recommended by a registered dietitian as a healthier alternative due to its lower fat content than sour cream. Serve it atop fresh berries, use it to enrich soups, or offer it as a creamy base for dips. It pairs exceptionally well with fresh fruits and can be a delightful addition to baked goods.

Storage Instructions

To store, combine cream and buttermilk in a jar, stir, and leave at room temperature until thickened. Once it has reached the desired consistency, transfer the cream to a non-reactive container with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Ensure you stir and refrigerate promptly after it thickens to preserve its freshness.

Recipe Notes

While crème fraîche is a perfect companion for mashed potatoes, its application extends into the summer grilling season when dolloped over vegetables or meats. Adding a splash of lemon juice can brighten its rich flavor, making it a delightful condiment year-round.

Remember, the quality of your crème fraîche can vary based on the fat content of the cream used, so for best results, choose a cream with higher fat content.

 

Velvety Homemade Creme Fraiche: A Simple and Luxurious Recipe

Prep Time5 minutes
12 hours
Total Time12 hours 5 minutes
Course: Quick & Easy
Keyword: creme fraiche recipe
Author: Natalie

Equipment

  • Glass jar or non-reactive container with a lid
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon for stirring

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt

Instructions

Step 1: Measure Cream

  • Begin by pouring 1 cup of heavy cream into a jar or container.

Step 2: Add Other Ingredients

  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk or plain yogurt, ensuring the cream and buttermilk are well combined. The cultures in the buttermilk are essential, as they will help the cream to thicken into crème fraîche.

Step 3: Allow the Mixture to Sit

  • Cover the jar with a lid or a clean cloth, allowing the mixture to sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours or until it reaches a thick consistency.

Step 4: Refrigerate

  • Once the desired thickness is achieved, stir the mixture one final time, then cover and refrigerate. The cold environment will cease culturing and further thicken the crème fraîche. Enjoy your homemade condiment as a rich and tangy addition to various dishes.

Notes

  • While crème fraîche is a perfect companion for mashed potatoes, its application extends into the summer grilling season when dolloped over vegetables or meats. Adding a splash of lemon juice can brighten its rich flavor, making it a delightful condiment year-round.
  • Remember, the quality of your crème fraîche can vary based on the fat content of the cream used, so for best results, choose a cream with higher fat content.

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