Some specialty ingredients, like creme fraiche, are expensive to buy, but cheap to make. And not only cheap. Easy. Fun. Not to mention satisfying. Creme fraiche, thicker and less sour than sour cream, is gorgeous on fresh fruit - and if that is the only thing you use it on, you'll be glad you did. It's also excellent to substitute for sour cream in recipes because it does not curdle. Plus, it's a standard ingredient in many French, Scandinavian and other European recipes.
Cook Time 45minutes
Total Time 45minutes
Author Melanie McMinn
1/4cupof plain yogurtor buttermilk
Any kind of cream will work when learning how to make crème fraiche - whipping cream, heavy double cream, single cream, etc. I use single or "regular" cream since I can't get anything with higher fat content at the grocery store here, but heavy cream will set up faster.
Slowly heat your cream in a heavy sauce pan to 162°F (72°C) whilst constantly stirring. Once it reaches 162°F, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Leave for half an hour. Place the pan in a sink full of cold water and stir to prevent a skin from forming.
When it cools to 88-95°F (31-35°C) add in the yogurt or buttermilk and stir well.
Now comes the part that Western minds have trouble handling. Place the mixture in a warm place for 1-3 days. Cover to keep out kids, pets and bugs. Cultures need warmth to grow and we are creating beautiful cultured cream here. The warmer the space, the faster your cultures grow and thicken the cream. In New Zealand, the warmest part of the house this time of year is the hot water cupboard, so that is where mine goes and at three days it can still be pretty runny.
When the cream is thickened, store in the refrigerator and you've got 1-3 weeks to use it. Your nose will tell you when it is time to go.