Homemade crème fraîche
Hummmm... crème fraîche...
Being native from France, I dearly miss been able to buy crème fraîche wherever I go, it's just not widely available in grocery stores and is on the expensive side! So I make my own! Because it so dam easy!
But first you may wonder, why crème fraîche over sour cream, isn't it the same?
First off, if you read the ingredients, crème fraîche is just cream and bacterial culture, that's it. Sour cream on the other hand, usually contains gelatin or other thickeners that just make me question... why the add-ons?
How crème fraîche stabilize into a thick texture without thickeners is simply because it is higher in fat. Crème fraîche is at least 30% or more fat. Sour cream is 14%, more or less depending on the product. Think how butter is solid when cold, well crème fraîche is like 30% butter, so that would explain its thickness.
Because of its higher fat content, it is also more stable when added to hot dishes, it won't split in hot soup and sauces. Definitely a bonus!
You can just use crème fraîche anywhere you usually use sour cream. Crème fraîche is slightly less tangy and more creamy, but also healthier, because it is cultured with bacteria that are good for you, and contains no processed ingredients!
Ready for swap? Try out this recipe and let me know what you think!
Homemade Crème Fraîche
2 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp plain kefir or yogurt (see notes)
Combine cream and kefir or yogurt together. place in a glass jar and cover with a cheesecloth. Leave undisturbed for at least 24 hours in a warm spot.
After 24 hours, the cream should have thickened a bit. Blend with a fork and place in the fridge with a lid on, where wit will get thicker as it gets cold. It’s ready to enjoy!
Keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks.
- In the winter or when temperatures are low, I use my Instant Pot to keep the cream in a more constant warm environment. Simply place the jar in the Instant Pot. Add hot tap water, about half way up the jar. No need to cover the jar of cream. Close the Instant Pot lid and leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- You can leave a thermometer in the Instant Pot to check if the temperature is going down, I try to keep it around 25 C. If so, just add more hot water once in a while
- It should start thickening within 24 hours. I usually ferment mine for 48 hours as I prefer a more tangy and thicker cream. I would not recommend going past 48 hours though. It will get thicker after you place it in the fridge!
- I find I have more success with a plain kefir than yogurt. But if you use yogurt, make sure it is plain, unsweetened, without thickeners (higher fat yogurt is better). I heard it works with buttermilk too, but i Have never tried.