Creme fraiche is a delicious type of cream that originated in France. It can be added to your favorite dishes as a topping or sauce and substituted in many recipes to add a rich texture. Although it can be expensive to buy in stores and restaurants, making it at home is simple and easy.
Making Basic Creme Fraiche
- Pour one cup of heavy cream into a jar with a lid. If you prefer, you can use yogurt instead of heavy cream but the results will be a bit runnier than traditional creme fraiche.
- Add one tablespoon of buttermilk. Put the lid on the jar and shake well for fifteen to twenty seconds.
- Place the closed jar on a windowsill. The cream needs to sit for 24 hours in order to form. Stir one to two times during this waiting period.
- Stir the thickened creme fraiche. It should be quite thick now, peaking with the spoon. Refrigerate for six hours before serving.
- Serve and enjoy! The creme fraiche is good for 7-10 days before needing to be discarded. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container.
Making Variations of Creme Fraiche
- Make sweetened creme fraiche. Add one to two tablespoons of powdered sugar to taste, and stir well. If desired, at one teaspoon of vanilla as well.
- Whip your creme fraiche. Use a whisk or an egg-beater to beat the creme fraiche. It should peak, but will not become stiff like classic whipped cream. 
- Try herbed creme fraiche. Add chives and tarragon with a bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper for a savory variation perfect when served with meat.
Cooking with Creme Fraiche
- Try scrambled eggs with creme fraiche. For the lightest, creamiest eggs add one to two tablespoons and whisk well before cooking over low heat.
- Substitute creme fraiche for cream in soups. Using your favorite cream-based soup or chowder recipe, switch out the cream for creme fraiche in half the amount. This will provide a more rich texture as well as a slightly enhanced flavor.
- Make creamy mashed potatoes. After boiling and mashing your potatoes, add in half a cup of creme fraiche with a bit of softened butter and blend. The resulting mashed potatoes will be creamy and light, a perfect side dish.
- Serve creme fraiche with grilled fruit for dessert. Choose a fruit to your liking, although peaches and apricots work well, and grill them with a little brown sugar. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.
- Creme fraiche will thicken faster in a warm room, so if your house is cold you may need to let it sit for a bit longer than usual.
- Creme fraiche can be used as a direct substitute for sour cream in many recipes.
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Sources and Citations
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