August 17, 2020

Crème fraîche has a delectable taste and richness to it, whether you spoon it over fresh fruits or add it into simmering soups. 

I, for one, love to have a generous helping of crème fraîche, topped with freshly-chopped scallions, on top of hot baked potatoes.  

However, since crème fraîche is a dairy product that originated in France, it’s still somewhat of a rarity in the US. It’s somewhat similar to sour cream, but it’s thicker, creamier, and richer due to its higher fat content. 

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This is why I prefer to use crème fraîche in my cooking when a recipe calls for a creamy texture.  

If you’re wondering, “what is crème fraîche?” then you have come to the right place! 

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about this delectably rich, creamy, and thick cream!

What Is Crème Fraîche?

So, what is crème fraîche? Crème fraîche is a French variation of sour cream with higher fat content. It’s a thick cultured cream prepared by souring heavy cream with a bacterial culture. 

Due to its high fat content, it doesn’t curdle easily, which is why it’s used to add a richness to dishes such as soups and stews while they’re simmering. 

Crème fraîche has a delectable tangy, nutty, and slightly sour flavor. It’s exceptionally rich, thick, and creamy with a fat content of about 30%.

 Due to its thick texture,crème fraîche is readily used as a thickener in many recipes and a condiment for many appetizers and desserts.

Even though it’s a common dairy staple in Europe, it’s considered as an exotic food in the US and isn’t readily available in all local stores. 

However, you can find it in specialty food stores or even some supermarkets. It’s often stocked in the dairy aisle with specialty creams and cheeses. Alternatively, you can make crème fraîche at home. 

How Is Crème Fraîche Used?

Crème fraîche is incredibly versatile and has many applications. Since crème fraîche doesn’t curdle easily, you can easily use it in recipes that require you to simmer the cream, such as soups, stews, sauces, and more. 

When mixed with spices, crème fraîche works exceptionally well as a creamy salad dressing for certain salads such as a potato salad. 

You can also incorporate it into a fish cake or prepare a crème fraîche condiment with seafood. It’s the ideal sweet and savory base for a dip. 

Thanks to its nutty flavor, you can also use it as a topping for waffles and pancakes along with berries. You can also serve it atop scones or add it to your scrambled eggs. Try this delicious scrambled eggs recipe with crème fraîche!

Moreover, when it is blended with some citrus, herbs, and spices, crème fraîche makes an excellent marinade for meat.  

Crème fraîche can also be added into cookies, bread, and other baked goods. You can also prepare your own whipped cream with crème fraîche by whipping it with some vanilla or sugar and serving it with fresh fruits. 

What Goes in Crème Fraîche?

Crème fraîche is prepared from two simple ingredients – heavy cream and cultured buttermilk.

These ingredients are blended and the microbes in the buttermilk are allowed to mix with the heavy cream to prepare crème fraîche.

How to Make Crème Fraîche

All that you need to make crème fraîche is a little buttermilk and some heavy cream. Just make sure that the buttermilk you choose is cultured and not just some simple concoction made by adding lemon juice to regular milk. 

This is because the microbes in cultured buttermilk are vital in making delicious crème fraîche. 

Here’s how you can make crème fraîche at home:

  1. Put a cup of heavy cream in a saucepan and mix 1 tablespoon of buttermilk in it.
  2. Gently heat this mixture until it is somewhat warm and then transfer it into a glass container or bowl. (Don’t let it get hot. We just want to warm it.)
  3. Use a clean dishcloth to cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least a day.
  4. Stir the prepared crème fraîche mixture and put it in your fridge until it’s chilled.

Make sure to devour the homemade crème fraîche within two weeks of preparing it.

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed this guide on “What is crème fraîche?” In simple terms, it’s a type of rich sour cream that’s prepared by adding bacteria culture form buttermilk to heavy cream. It has a rich, tangy, and nutty flavor. Its texture is quite thick and creamy, which makes it an ideal thickener for stews and soups. However, it’s used quite readily in a wide array of dishes, both sweet and savory. 

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and experiment with the delicious crème fraîche in your cooking! 

Get the Creme Fraiche recipe emailed to you!
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What Is Crème Fraîche – Everything You Need to Know About It


  • Author: Emily Mathews
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2880 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 hours 3 minutes

Description

This Creme Fraiche is simple but does take a bit of time and patience. However, this creamy homemade cream is well worth it. Use it in your next soup.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 T buttermilk
  • 1 c heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Put a cup of heavy cream in a saucepan and mix 1 tablespoon of buttermilk in it. 
  2. Gently heat this mixture until it is somewhat warm and then transfer it into a glass container or bowl. (Don’t let it get hot. We just want to warm it.)
  3. Use a clean dishcloth to cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least a day.
  4. Stir the prepared crème fraîche mixture and put it in your fridge until it’s chilled.
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: French
Get the Creme Fraiche recipe emailed to you!
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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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