What really is crème fraîche? This thick French cream with a fancy name isn’t quite a cheese-like mascarpone or cream cheese but also isn’t just cream.
Turns out, the simplest explanation is that it is a cultured cream, the same stuff I used to make cultured butter. It’s kind of like sour cream except it’s acidified using bacterial cultures instead of lemon juice.
It’s so delicious, and in a pinch sure, mascarpone or sour cream can stand-in, but it’s also really simple to make. All you need to do is stir a spoonful of yoghurt into some heavy cream and leave it overnight to culture.
The only real trick to it is to make sure you stir the yoghurt starter into the cream well so it doesn’t end up clumpy (this happened to me first go and I turned the batch into two-ingredient ice cream).
You can also use other dairy cultures if you have them on hand like live buttermilk, a previous batch of crème fraîche or even kefir.
When you get it set just right it’ll be super thick and those lush little tails of sticky cream will drag behind when a spoon is dipped in.
How to make crème fraîche at home
Take 2 cups of heavy cream and 1 tbsp of yoghurt. Add a little cream to the yoghurt and mix well to loosen. Blend that yoghurt-cream mix back into the rest of the cream and stir well.
Cover your container with fabric or cheesecloth so it can breathe. I sometimes use a big jar and cover the top with fabric and a rubber band, but this time used my bullet blender container with a piece of fabric that I placed the drinking ring over which held it down well.
Leave overnight to ferment. Once set, refrigerate until firm.
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