Crème fraiche is a thick cultured cream that tastes similar to sour cream, it tends to have a more delicate tang and texture, it also performs better when heated in sauces. Sour cream usually has 20% fat content while crème fraiche tends to have at least 35% butterfat.
Making homemade crème fraiche takes about 30 seconds of active work and it cultures on the counter for 24-36 hours in the winter and 18-24 hours in the summer. It's easy, delicious and definitely cheaper than buying it in the store and not every store carries it.
I would recommend using a cream that has at least 35% butterfat, 40% will give an even better consistency. Pasteurized cream works well but try the avoid the ultra pasteurized or UHT (ultra high temperature) types of cream and the ones that have many additives that thicken the cream.
Crème fraiche keeps well for days in the fridge so it has the added benefit of extending the shelf life of the heavy cream and makes the most amazing homemade cultured butter.
The friendly bacteria in the buttermilk naturally thickens the cream into crème fraiche, a tablespoon of buttermilk to one cup of cream a good ratio.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
Pour the cream into a clean glass jar, add the buttermilk, mix and place in a warm place to ferment.
Place the crème fraiche in the fridge once it has thickened nicely.