Creme Fraiche, made at home

Creme Fraiche, made at homeSo rich. So tangy. So intense. And so unbelievably freakin’ expensive if you buy it in the store.

If you can even find it in a store here in the states, that is. Creme fraiche is sour cream’s snootier French cousin – a little more delicate, but at the same time, tangier and more deeply flavored. They aren’t interchangeable necessarily, but both are great to have on hand. I would prefer sour cream on a taco, but you can’t beat creme fraiche with delicate fruit, or topping a soup where sour cream might easily curdle.

Why in the heck is it so expensive in the US? I have no idea, but, you know what? I don’t care, because it is the easiest thing in the world to make. So easy, that to call this a recipe and devote an entire post to it seems almost silly. But, you won’t be sorry that you made it, because you will want to put it on everything.

Gather your ingredients. Your two ingredients. You might find a lot of sources that say not to use ultra-pasteurized cream, but a whole bunch of other people around the interent said that was all they could find, and the result was perfect. After looking in numerous stores, I gave up and bought the ultra-pasteurized, deciding to go with the more relaxed folks on the issue. Certainly if you can find regular heavy cream, I would use that, but, if ultra-pasteurized is all that is available in your area, don’t let that stop you. The other ingredient is buttermilk, and low fat is fine. You will find some instructions that tell you to heat the cream, but it is not really essential- it just speeds things up by a few hours, but it also dirties a pan, and who needs that?creme fraiche ingredients

Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a jar
Mix in 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Place in an out of the way spot in a warm kitchen for 24 to 36 hours. I like to use a canning jar for this, because you can just leave it slightly loose,instead of screwing the top all the way down. You can use a bowl, lightly covered with plastic wrap, or with a plate set on top if you prefer. Stir it every 6 or 7 hours if you think of it, but it’s not a big deal if you forget. It is perfectly safe to leave this sitting at room temperature. After 24 hours, give it a stir to check for how thick it is getting. You can leave another half a day if it doesn’t seem thick enough. I left my latest batch for the whole 36 hours, and I like the flavor better.creme fraiche mixedStore in the fridge for up to 10 days. [10 days is a modest estimate- it will keep longer.]creme fraiche doneWhat do you do with it? Just about anything that you can do with sour cream. It is magical on fresh fruit, awesome on top of some scones and jam, and just plain delicious on a nice veggie soup. A nice big dollop would be perfect on this Clementine Crunch Cake. Try using it on strawberry shortcake instead of whipped cream. Stir in a little fresh dill, salt and pepper and spoon over fresh cucumbers.creme fraiche on spoonJust try not to just eat it straight out of the fridge, though I certainly won’t judge you if you do!

Creme Fraiche, made at home
Recipe type: Dairy, Sauces
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. Place the heavy cream in a clean, dry jar. I like to use a canning jar, because it is easy to leave the lid loose without it falling off.
  2. Mix in the buttermilk.
  3. Cover the jar loosely and leave at room temperature for 24 to 36 hours.
  4. Stir every 6 or 7 hours, though if you forget, it's not a huge deal.
  5. After 36 hours, it should be thick and tangy.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.


16 thoughts on “Creme Fraiche, made at home

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