The original French crème fraiche is similar to sour cream with a nice nutty taste but is not as sour. It also holds up better to cooking. For instance, it resists curdling and separating, making it the perfect ingredient to stir into soups, sauces and other recipes.
Basically, crème fraiche is left sitting in a warm area for a while (like yogurt). Eventually it sours and thickens with the help of its own natural bacteria.
It is an ancient recipe that the French cherish; you can actually find it in the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée). The AOC is a French certificate approved to certain French geographical indications for cheeses, butters, wines and other products.
How to Use Crème Fraiche
Crème fraiche (pronounced “fresh”) is very versatile. It can be used in recipes that call for sour cream or whipped cream. It not only adds the same richness but it also gives a touch of extra special flavor.
Dissimilar to sour cream, crème fraiche does not separate when heated. But keep in mind, you will have better success and flavor if you add it at the end of the recipe. If you want a fluffier crème fraiche, whip it a little to integrate some air.
Crème fraiche is quite diversified and can be used in many recipes. In truth, it adds a nice authentic French touch to your cooking in richness and flavor. Try using it in different ways, you will be delighted!
- A dollop on steamed veggies.
- Fabulous in dips or on baked potatoes.
- Goes well with Butternut Squash Soup with mild chilis.
- In different types of quiches such as Quiche Lorraine or Spinach Swiss Quiche.
- Any dish cooked in sauce like mushroom casserole or creamy vegetable medley.
- A wonderful addition to ice creams, especially fruit flavors sweetened with honey.
- Makes a fabulous topping for many desserts with a touch of honey. just note that it is a bit tarter than whipped cream.
To top it off, crème fraiche is very uncomplicated and inexpensive to make. As well, you can add desired flavorings from vanilla or amaretto to dill or chopped chives. It also makes a marvelous spread for deli crackers or artisan bread. The simple recipe is quick to put together then can be left in a warmer corner. Depending on where you live, it can take 24 to 36 hours to thicken up. Just make sure not to use ultra-pasteurized or processed whipped cream, it most likely will not set up. Enjoy!
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (not pasteurized, it won’t ferment correctly)
- 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it is warm to the touch (approximately 100° F/40°C).
- Remove the cream from the heat. Mix in the buttermilk until combined.
- Pour mixture into a clean jar. Put the lid on top but do not screw it down.
- Place jar in a warm corner of the kitchen. Allow to stand for 24 hours. Stir a few times while it is fermenting.
- After 24 hours, the cream should be slightly thickened. If not, let it sit out longer.
- Put the crème fraiche in the refrigerator with the lid screwed down. Allow to sit another 24 hours. The mixture should be somewhat thick.
- Place in strainer lined with cheese cloth. Allow to drain over a jar or container (if desired), to remove extra liquid.
- If a thicker crème fraiche is desired, you can whip the cream beforehand.
- The crème fraiche lasts around 10 days in the refrigerator.
- Depending on where you live & the brand of whipped cream you use, fermentation time can vary.
Bialy and creme fraiche: stu_spivack
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