Crème Fraiche

Are you familiar with Dash and Bella? It’s a delightfully eloquent blog written by mom Phyllis Grant, about her time in the kitchen with her son and daughter, Dash and Bella. If you do click over, be forewarned, there are some f-bombs floating about her writings, if you care about such things.  I’ve just started subscribing to her and have been enjoying myself as I page through her archives. Recently, I came across the above post. Crème fraiche, anyone? Yum!

Crème fraiche is richer and smoother than sour cream. It can be used as a replacement for cream and sour cream in most recipes. It is quite versatile as it is delish in both savory and sweet dishes.

So, a few days ago, I ran to the store to pick up some buttermilk and heavy cream.

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Per Phyllis, you fill a glass jar half-way with heavy cream. Then add one-quarter that amount with buttermilk. I used a pint mason jar. Excuse me for a minute . . . I just realized I did half cream and half buttermilk. Yes. Yes, this kind of thing happens much too often. Could those instructions have been any easier? Would it have even mattered? Who knows. It’s okay, I’ve poured the mixture into a quart mason jar and added half a pint of cream to the jar.

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Phyllis instructs us to leave the jar out on the counter (or where ever) and wait. We are experiencing full blown summer weather here in Chicago so I’m enjoying the cool blast of air conditioning. I didn’t want to wait two days for my crème fraiche. No. I want it now. So I left my jar outside in the 90 degree shade. I didn’t want any ants or their friends to take a swim so I put a thin towel over the top and wonkily screwed the ring on the jar making a Sheikh Fraiche.

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This way, air can get to the liquid but, hopefully, nothing else can. Now we wait and occasionally stir the liquid.

And, wait. Cue the Jeopardy music here.

While we are waiting, did you know that once you have made crème fraiche, you can make more just by adding a dollop of the existing yumminess to a jar of heavy cream? Yes. Yes, you can. You won’t have to buy buttermilk again as the existing crème fraiche acts as a starter.

I brought the jar inside after 6 hours.  Here is the crème fraiche after about 12 hours.

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See the bubbles?  That means something good is happening.  After 24 hours, the liquid was becoming creamier and somewhat thicker.  After 36 hours it was done.

Tangy, creamy and to-die-for.  It will thicken up after some time spent in the frig.  I’ve got something special planned for the crème fraiche which I’ll share with you in a later post.  Oh, and see that green stuff under the crème?  I’ll be talking about that tomorrow.

Have you ever made crème fraiche?  Did you find that cooler temperatures makes it take longer to process?

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