How to Make Creme Fraiche (or French Sour Cream)

Want to make your own creme fraiche (or French sour cream)? It’s simple and delicious, not to mention economical. I make a quart at a time and it lasts us about two weeks.

There are several ways you can make this- with buttermilk, with a starter, etc, but here’s how I make it:

Simply pour 2 pints of  organic grassfed heavy cream into a clean quart jar.
Add 3-4 TBL organic grassfed yogurt.

Stir well to combine. Place in a dehydrator, yogurt maker, crock pot or oven at a low temp set to 95 degrees for 12-18 hours. (I use my Excalibur dehydrator for this task)
Remove and let cool on the counter for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate about 12 hours before using (it will become thicker as it cools)

That’s it!

Now that you have your homemade creme fraiche- what do you do with it?

I use creme fraiche all the time for the following:

Delicious, Probiotic Rich “Whipped Topping”
Use any where you’d normally use whipped cream. Stir in a tiny bit of pure vanilla extract (or try pure almond extract for another flavor) and a drop of maple syrup into a bit of your creme fraiche and then put a dollop on top of freshly cut fruit (amazing with strawberries!), freshly baked grain-free goodies (like a stonefruit tart) or on pudding/pot de creme, etc. In the autumn/winter, I often stir in a bit of cinnamon and/or nutmeg or a drizzle of bourbon to top harvest goodies. If you want a firmer blend for icing, simply drain the creme fraiche through cheesecloth and then flavor with vanilla (or almond) and your natural sweetener of choice- use instead of whipped cream for icing.

Cumin-Scented Crema
On top of chili, tacos, Mexican soups (like caldo de pollo) or beside guacamole, I love this! A dollop of creme fraiche mixed with fresh lime juice, a dash of unrefined sea salt, a dash of chili powder and a couple dashes of cumin. Mix it all and adjust to taste and swirl it in, put it on or drizzle it! Omit the chili powder and lime- just using cumin and salt- and it goes beautifully on butternut squash soup!

As sour cream
Use anywhere you would normally use sour cream-  it is cultured cream after all :)  Top baked potatoes, stir into mashed potatoes (or faux-tatoes with cauliflower), as an accompaniment to caviar or smoked salmon, etc.

In sauces
My favorite way to use creme fraiche is in making sauces. What’s awesome is it doesn’t curdle or cause your sauce to separate! Simply saute some onions, shallots, mushrooms, garlic or whatever in a bit of butter. When soft, you can deglaze the pan with a bit of wine/sherry/port, brandy or bourbon , or homemade beef or chicken stock. Then add a big spoonful of creme fraiche. Stir, season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and let simmer gently until reduced to your desired consistency. FANTASTIC! Great with roasted chicken! Serving grassfed steak? Try this brandy mushroom sauce.

For fluffy eggs
Whenever I make eggs, instead of adding milk or cream, I add a tablespoon or two of creme fraiche to the raw eggs and beat well to mix. Season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper and cook in grassfed butter- SO good! I use it in frittatas as well.

Creamed Spinach
Yep, goes great in creamed spinach (or other greens) as well.

How do you use creme fraiche? Have you made homemade creme fraiche before? What method did you use?

Image credit: Wikipedia

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