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Easy Crème Fraîche Recipe

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Elevate your sweet and savory dishes with a dollop of crème fraîche. Don’t buy it because, with this simple homemade crème fraîche recipe, you can make your own delicious version at home in just a few simple steps. Whether you like your crème fraîche dolloped atop fresh fruit, stirred into a warm soup, or used as a delicate garnish to your favorite dish, the tangy flavor is sure to be both delicious and rewarding.

Jar of homemade creme fraiche.

We’ve heard in the news that consuming probiotics is good for our health. What you might not be aware of is that you can make delicious, naturally fermented foods at home that are full of healthy probiotics.

I made my first batches of fermented foods after I received Hayley Barisa Ryczek’s book, Fermented Foods at Every Meal:  Nourish Your Family at Every Meal with Quick and Easy Recipes Using The Top 10 Live-Culture Foods. If you have never fermented anything, this recipe will be great for your first time.

I am happy that I am able to share the recipe for making Hayley’s crème fraîche with you so you can get a taste of what is in store when you get the book. Let’s take a look at the simple process.

Ingredients

For this luscious condiment, you need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or packaged starter

Supplies

  • 1 glass pint jar 9475 ml) with lid
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cheesecloth or cotton fabric square
  • Rubber band or string

Instructions

To make Crème Fraîche, place cream and buttermilk in a jar with a lid. (A Mason jar works great.) Cover it securely and shake for 15 seconds. Remove the lid and cover with the cheesecloth, securing with a rubber band or string.

Set the jar aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours until thickened similar to sour cream. (This time frame will vary depending on the cream and the temperature of your home.)

Stir the thickened crème fraîche well. Replace the lid tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. It will become even thicker as it chills.

Storage

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Do I need a starter culture to make crème fraîche?

No, you don’t necessarily need a specialized starter culture. A convenient alternative is using cultured buttermilk, which contains the beneficial bacteria required for the fermentation process.

How long does it take to make crème fraîche at home?

Homemade crème fraîche typically takes about 12 to 24 hours to achieve the desired thickness and flavor. The fermentation time may vary based on factors like room temperature and the amount of cultured buttermilk used.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living microorganisms, primarily bacteria and yeast, that offer various health benefits when consumed in sufficient quantities. These beneficial microbes, known for their positive impact on the digestive system and overall health, can be obtained naturally from fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso. Alternatively, they can be taken in the form of dietary supplements.

Recipe Tip

For the best results, be sure to use real buttermilk with live cultures when making crème fraîche. Avoid using homemade buttermilk substitutes, as they lack the beneficial live cultures crucial for the fermentation process. The live cultures in real buttermilk contribute to the unique flavor and texture of crème fraîche, ensuring a rich and creamy result.

jar of creme fraiche

Crème Fraîche from Fermented Foods at Every Meal

Once you try this recipe for Crème Fraîche, you’ll never need to go back to store bought again.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 2 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 103kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pint jar with lid
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cheesecloth or cotton fabric square
  • Rubber band or string

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or packaged starter

Instructions

  • Place the cream and buttermilk in a jar with a lid. Cover securely and shake for 15 seconds. Remove the lid and cover with the cheesecloth, securing with a rubber band or string. Set aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours until thickened similar to sour cream. (This time frame will vary depending on the cream and the temperature of your home.)
  • Stir the thickened crème fraîche well. Replace the lid tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. It will become even thicker as it chills. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

***Crème fraîche is pretty easy to make, and that’s a good thing, because it can be hard to find in the store. It’s a bit nutty and buttery tasting, and it can be used as a substitute for mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream in your favorite dish. It can also be used sweetened and whipped. Or you can whip it up (unsweetened) until it separates into solid butter and liquid buttermilk (which is different from the cultured buttermilk used in this recipe). Although it is generally recommended to avoid the use of ultra-pasteurized dairy products for culturing, I have found through many test batches that ultra-pasteurized cream works as well as all other types of cream in making Crème Fraîche. If using a packaged crème fraîche starter, follow the instruction provided with the starter. *Recipe from Fermented Foods at Every Meal and reprinted with permission.

Nutrition

Serving: 2Tablespoons | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 15mg | Sugar: 1g
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Fermented Foods at Every Meal

Fermented Foods at Every Meal cookbook

Hayley begins the book by explaining the basics of fermentation. Good bacteria are essential for the human gut – they help create a healthy balance in our digestive tract, as well as aid in the digestion process.

Hayley writes, “You can ferment almost any food as long as you have the right combination of microbes and nourishment, as well as a few supplies and ingredients on hand.”

The book is divided into chapters covering 10 different fermented foods, along with recipes that include those items. The following are the healthy and delicious foods that we learn how to ferment at home:

  • Crème fraîche
  • Kefir
  • Dried Fruit Chutney
  • Fermented Ketchup
  • Fermented Ginger Orange Carrots
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fermented Sweet Pickle Relish
  • Sweet and Spicy Tomato Mango Salsa
  • Yogurt

The first recipe I tried was for crème fraîche. I was really surprised at how easy it was to make. A big plus was that I didn’t have to shop somewhere special for the ingredients – I bought them at Aldi. My container only held 2 cups, so I had to discard a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream, but otherwise, I followed the directions as stated and it turned out beautifully. (Can I say that about food? Or should I just tell you that it came out quite delicious?)

I used some of the crème fraîche to make Hayley’s recipe for Classic Chopped Salad with Green Goddess Dressing (shown below).

Classic Chopped Salad with Green Goddess Dressing.

As I write this, I have a batch of homemade sauerkraut fermenting and it’s looking good. Other recipes that I want to try include Pineapple Kefir Sorbet, Kombucha Soda, Chicken Satay with Cilantro and Almond Butter Sauce (recipe made using Kombucha), Sweet and Spicy Tomato Mango Salsa, and Yogurt to name a few.

Look for Fermented Foods at Every Meal:  Nourish Your Family at Every Meal with Quick and Easy Recipes Using The Top 10 Live-Culture Foods at your favorite bookstore or at Amazon.com. You can get more of Hayley’s recipes at her blog, Health Starts in the Kitchen.

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