The Basics // How to make Crème Fraîche
Crème fraîche is a cream that is naturally soured by beneficial bacteria. With more body and complex flavors than fresh sweet cream; crème fraîche is a thick, rich, custard-like cream. It can be used to make anything from savory soups to rich, creamy desserts. There are many different methods to making crème fraîche depending on preference and what dairy is available at the time. I prefer to use raw cream because raw dairy is filled with beneficial bacteria, it usually has a higher fat content, and is easier to digest because it isn't pasteurized. Using raw cream is also the simplest method because all you need to do is pour the cream into a clean jar and leave it in the cabinet at room temperature for 24 hours. Unfortunately raw dairy isn't always available everywhere so I'm going to show you how to make crème fraîche with high quality, pasteurized, organic cream from grass-fed cows. If I'm buying my cream from a grocery store, I prefer the Saint Benoît, Strauss, Traders Point, and Clover brands.
What will I need?
- 1 pint of grass-fed whipping cream
- 1 tbsp of grass-fed cultured buttermilk (Organic Valley Buttermilk is a good option)
- A clean 24 ounce -or- 32 ounce glass jar, with a lid
- Pour the pint of cream into the clean glass jar
- Add 1 tbsp of buttermilk to the cream and stir well
- Cover tightly with lid
- Place jar in a dark, warm spot (about 65- 75 degrees) for about 20-24 hours
How will I know when it is ready?
- Your crème fraîche is ready when it is thick enough to stay together when you tip the jar. If you come back the next day and it seems runny, leave it in the cabinet for a few more hours. Keep in mind that it will continue to set up in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate for up to two weeks.
And that's it. Now the possibilities are endless - my favorite ways to use crème fraîche include:
- Making creamed soups
- Drizzling over braised meats or tacos
- Finishing reduction sauces with a pat of butter and a dollop of crème fraîche
- As a base for ice cream
- Whipped with vanilla bean and honey, served over fresh fruit
- Dips & dressings