Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crème Fraîche

Let's talk for a moment about crème fraîche. It's one of those fancy food terms you hear about and see on the Food Network, but would never even think about attempting to make, so you search high and low for a place that serves it so you can at least try it once before you die. Then you find a Belgian waffle shop that serves it atop their waffles, so you drive for like 40 minutes to get there and of course order your waffle topped with it and immediately decide that you want it on all your waffles and desserts forever and ever because you love it so much and can't live without it. So at that point you realize that you have no choice but to figure out how to make it yourself. Then you read like six different online recipes, which are all basically the same, and realize it's 100 percent easier than you thought...like, almost too easy, so obviously the internet must be lying to you. But, alas, you try it anyway and realize the internet was right all along, because it really is that easy. I think that's how the typical story goes anyway...

Okay, so basically crème fraîche is a thick soured cream with a really smooth texture.
Making it will require you to throw some of your old notions out the window and trust that the food sites are correct in their knowledge of how bacteria works, because apparently there's good bacteria and bad bacteria, and crème fraîche implements the use of good, special bacteria...er, something like that.

Okay, so here's what you need:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBSP buttermilk
  • 4-5 TBSP powdered sugar, to taste (optional)
And that's it folks.

So here's what you do:

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it reaches approximately 105 degrees. Remove it from the heat and add the buttermilk. It's this next step that might be hard to stomach, but you're just gonna have to trust me on it. You then transfer the cream/buttermilk mixture to a bowl and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 24-48 hours (mine took roughly 24 hours). And, like, the warmer the better apparently. You'll know it's done when it's roughly the consistency of sour cream and has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor (kinda like sour cream, but different...). You'll then want to cover it and place it in the refrigerator so it can continue to become more and more crème fraîche-y.

At this point you have two options. You can either eat it as is...you know, add it to sauces, put a scoop in your bowl of soup, or top some sort of savory French crepe with it (much like you would do with sour cream). Or you can do what I did and add roughly 4 TBSP powdered sugar (more if you want it sweeter, less if you want it not so sweet...you get the idea) and then beat it until it resembles thick whipping cream. The end result is something epic and can pretty much be eaten as a dessert by itself. Or you can generously top desserts, waffles, french toast, etc. with it. And I mean generously, do you understand? This will last anywhere from 7-10 days in the refrigerator, but this is really a moot point for me.


  1. yesss! i'm so excited to make this, because i've tried to find it before and couldn't. i'd like the lemon pudding cake recipe too :) i'm going to try and post the apple stuff today if i have time, or tomorrow :)

  2. mmm fabulous I will definitely be trying this

  3. Love it! I NEED to go to this waffle place soon!!