Sense of Home
I have come across several recipes calling for crème fraîche, however it is not available to purchase at the stores in my home town, and I have heard that it is expensive when available. I have substituted sour creme which works fine, but I wanted to know what crème fraîche tasted like, and how it differed from sour creme. Food In Jars website had a post on homemade crème fraîche back in February, reminding me that I could make my own. So I did just that, and now that I have made my own, I have found it to be so simple that there is no reason to search out the expensive product in neighboring cities. Crème fraîche is not as sour as sour creme, it tastes more like a thick sweet creme with a slight tang. I followed the directions in the book The Lost Art of Real Cooking (a good reference book that covers many of the basics of traditional cooking), which says that it can be whipped and served with desserts and that it has less of a tendency to curdle during cooking.
In a pint or quart jar, depending on how much you wish to make, pour in fresh sweet cream (not ultra-pasteurized*) add a large or small (depending on how much cream you are using) dollop of plain yogurt or buttermilk, and stir. Cover and leave the jar sit in a warm spot for a day or two (longer if your house is cold). I placed mine in my microwave so that it was out of the way and it is a warm spot since it is located above my stove. Once the cream has thickened (mine took two days with temps in the upper 60s, in the summer heat I'm sure it will take less time) it is ready to use. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for a couple of weeks.
*Although the directions in the book I used said the cream should not be ultra-pasteurized, the only cream I had available was an organic ultra-pasteurized whipping creme so I gave it a try and it worked just fine. I also make homemade whole-milk ricotta using organic ultra-pasteurized whole milk and it has worked every time.
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