Crème Fraiche is an ingredient in many recipes, yet it can be difficult to find in regular grocery stores. It has a nutty flavor, with a subtle tang that most resembles sour cream. Unlike sour cream, however, crème fraiche can be cooked without curdling. For this reason, it is often used in pan sauces, cream sauces, and soups. It can also be whipped with sweetener as an accompaniment to fruit, or made into fillings and frostings for cake.
Crème fraiche may be difficult to find, but it is very easy to make at home. All you need is a little patience and the right ingredients, and in a couple of days you’ll have made your own jar to experiment with, or to give as a gift.
Pour the buttermilk and the heavy cream into a saucepan over low heat. Cook just long enough to remove the chill (not above 85°F). Pour into a clean glass jar, and cover the top with cheesecloth, muslin, or a paper towel. Secure with a rubber band.
Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring every 6 hours or so. After 24 hours, the cream should be thick. Stir once more, and cover the jar with a regular lid/band. Refrigerate for another 24 hours before serving.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Recipe from The Splended Table.
I made these jars of crème fraiche for a friend of mine with an upcoming birthday. She loves to experiment in the kitchen with different types of ingredients, so I know she’ll really enjoy the gift. To make them special for her, I packaged my jars with tuxedo colored tags and labels in the style of Provencale.