Cheese & Dairy

Stop Buying Crème Fraîche

Save yourself some cash by making your own crème fraîche. It couldn't be simpler.

Making crème fraîche is easy!

If I were to pick my favorite DIY food product, it would have to be homemade crème fraîche.

Here’s why:

  1. It’s insanely expensive to buy;
  2. It’s the easiest thing you’ll ever make; AND
  3. It increases your domestic goddess factor by like a thousand!

In the event that you haven’t yet tried it and either don’t know what you’re missing or aren’t persuaded by #3, just do yourself a favor and try this sublimely silky and tangy cousin to sour cream. Its higher fat content makes it perform better in cooking applications, and it proves to be a fine (and often superior) substitute for both sour cream and mayonnaise in many recipes.

Here are some suggestions for what to do with crème fraîche:

  1. Top this flourless chocolate cake with it and a drizzle of Chambord or other raspberry liquor;
  2. Add it to prepared pasta, along with your favorite grated cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped parsley for a sophisticated version of mac n’ cheese; AND/OR
  3. Replace some of the milk (or cream) with it in mashed potatoes for a slightly tangy and more flavorful option.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and just try this recipe – I promise it won’t disappoint! Also, following the recipe is a cheesy video tutorial demonstrating that I’m really not lying about how simple this stuff is to make. [I promise the vids will get better in the near term, lol.] And, as always, please feel free to comment and share away below! Salut!

Here’s the recipe.

Crème Fraîche

Print Recipe
Cooking Time: Prep time: 2 minutes; culturing time: 24 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pasteurized heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 2 T. buttermilk, crème fraîche, or yogurt

Instructions

1

Combine the cream and buttermilk (or crème fraîche or yogurt) and whisk until incorporated. Transfer to a glass jar and seal tightly with a well-fitted lid. Shake vigorously for a few moments, and set on the counter.

2

In 12 hour increments, shake the crème fraîche and taste it to test its tanginess. Once it's as tangy as you'd like, simply refrigerate it. Crème fraîche will keep for at least two weeks.

Notes

Crème fraîche will thicken somewhat upon being refrigerated. Also, it does best in a warm room temperature environment (not in excess of 80 degrees). Sometimes I'll set the jar on top of a preheating oven for a few minutes to warm it as a means of encouraging the friendly bacteria to work their magic. Do NOT let the jar get hot!

 

How to Make Crème Fraîche


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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Darryl
    February 26, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Great video! Look forward to seeing more in the future!

    I never buy creme fraiche simply because it is just so darn expensive. I’ll usually just substitute a decent quality sour cream and call it a day. This looks so simple that I’m willing to give it a try. Heading to the grocery store tomorrow. I will provide a report once I’ve given this a try!

    • Reply
      Kristi Smith
      February 27, 2016 at 12:16 am

      Thanks! Next round will probably be at the counter instead of the table…it’s so hard to get it just right, lol!

      Awesome – I can’t wait to hear back! Thanks for commenting!

      • Reply
        Darryl
        February 27, 2016 at 11:51 am

        It literally took longer to open the heavy cream (yes, I made sure it was not ultra-pasteurized) and buttermilk than it did to make the recipe! Couldn’t be simpler. Now we wait…

        • Reply
          Darryl
          February 29, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          Tried the finished product yesterday…OMG!!! This stuff is ridiculous!!! Better than any creme fraiche I have ever purchased and SO munch more cost effective!

          My jar sat on the counter for about 15 hours (my kitchen is usually about 68 degrees) and then was refrigerated for 5-6 hours before I tried it. It had an amazingly creamy texture (kind of reminded me of whipped cream just before it really thickens) and a wonderful rich-tangy flavor. Can’t wait to try it in mashed potatoes.

          • Kristi Smith
            February 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

            Thanks for sharing your experience in detail! It is seriously amazing stuff – I admit that I still buy it sometimes, but that’s only because I didn’t plan ahead. It’s like homemade ricotta for me in that regard. Speaking of, I think I just ID’d a future post!

          • Darryl
            February 29, 2016 at 7:25 pm

            I would love to know how to make homemade ricotta!!!! Great post idea! I am also hoping the how to make perfect ciabatta holes is posted at some point too.

          • Kristi Smith
            February 29, 2016 at 11:56 pm

            Awesome! Consider it done. It’s nothing like the supermarket crap! And, the ciabatta will be another post. It’s like my favorite subject to explore, so it will probably take me forever to write 🙂

          • yogafire
            March 3, 2016 at 8:01 pm

            Awesome, thanks for sharing with the update! I admit I was a bit hesitant to try myself, but you are helping me get over that fear hump! 🙂

          • Darryl
            March 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm

            You’re welcome. Give it a try! It cost less than $2.50 and 2 minutes of prep.

            Mixed mine in mashed potatoes…YUM!!!

  • Reply
    Rosie - Lifebyrosie.nl
    March 23, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I can’t imagine that creme fraiche is that expensive over there!! Why? Over here we pay like one dollar for the same amount! But, as i like to do and make things myself, i think i’m gonna try this over the weekend! 😀

    <3

    • Reply
      Kristi
      March 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Hi Rosie! I think it costs so much because it’s an exotic-sounding ingredient to most Americans, lol. Sour cream is a relatively similar product and sells for around $1, after all. We are apparently willing to pay a premium for accent marks 😛 Good luck with it!

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