Crème fraîche is a soured cream with a smooth, tangy and rich flavour, containing about 30% butter fat. It is definitely the crème de la crème in terms of flavour and flexibility. It doesn’t curdle so is perfect to heat, can be used in baking or dolloped into sauces, soups and on desserts.
In my mind crème fraîche doesn’t only taste better but also sounds more sophisticated than your everyday regular old cream. And it seems that others agree. Not only does it often keep company with star ingredients like caviar and cured salmon (Blinis with caviar, cured salmon and crème fraîche anyone?), it is the only cream to have an appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), reserved for crème fraîche made around the town of Isigny-sur-Mer in Normandy.
So next time you are planning a posh dinner party why not add a dollop of homemade crème fraîche to that chilled soup starter – you are sure to impress your guests!
Homemade Crème Fraîche
Preparation Time: 20 minutes | Incubation Time: 18 hours | Makes: 500gm
500gm heavy cream
(good quality cream will make your crème fraîche taste better!)
1/4 teaspoon powedered Flora Danica or Aroma B mesophilic starter culture
(You can buy starter cultures online or at your local cheese shop.)
500ml sterilised jar or container
(or 2 x 250ml jars)
4 litre stockpot / saucepan
(big enough for the jar or container to comfortably fit)
Mini measuring spoons
Pour the cream into the sterilised jar and place into the pot. Fill the pot with warm water to halfway up the sides of the jar. Then over low heat slowly warm the cream to 30°C (86°F).
STEP 2: Add the starter culture
Once the cream is at temperature sprinkle over the starter culture. Let it stand for 5 minutes while keeping the cream at 30°C (86°F). Then using a spoon throrougly mix the starter into the cream.
Place the lid loosely onto the jar and leave in the warm water to incubate for a minimum of 12 hours. Then take the jar out of the water, tighten the lid and continue to ripen at room temperature for atleast another 6 hours.
STEP 4: Ready to enjoy!
Once your cream has reached a thick yoghurt like consistency, it is ready to enjoy! Use it in baking, to finish off sauces and soups or serve with almost any dessert, from chocolate puds to fresh berries.
Recipes using crème fraîche: