Homemade Creme Fraiche ~ with just 2 ingredients you can make your own thick and creamy creme fraiche ~ no more last minute trips to the supermarket to buy one of those overpriced little tubs!

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The other day I was making a recipe that required creme fraiche, and I was so frustrated when my regular grocery store didn’t have any.  That’s one of the few downsides to the explosion of so many different types of foods we now have available to us in grocery stores…there simply isn’t the shelf space for all of them.  It got me thinking about trying a homemade version.  Creme fraiche is a cultured cream,  basically a French version of sour cream, but  more luxurious and subtle.  Not quite as sour, or as thick.  More of a tangy custard.  The process is a lot like making yogurt, only with a cream base instead of milk.  And it’s much easier.  All you need to do is stir a little buttermilk into heavy cream, and let it sit so the bacteria can do their job.  It will thicken into a silky creme fraiche in about 12 to 18 hours.  You can literally do it in your sleep.  Got it?  Let’s make it.

Homemade Creme Fraiche

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp cultured buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Pour the cream into a clean jar or small bowl. Stir in the buttermilk.
  2. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let sit at a warm room temperature for 12 to 18 hours until it is thickened.
  3. Stir it, and cover tightly.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use. It will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/minimal-monday-homemade-creme-fraiche/

notes:

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Now that you know how to make it, you can really have fun with it.  Experiment with using it in place of mayo, sour cream, yogurt, and even whipped cream in recipes.   Creme fraiche has a slightly higher fat content than sour cream, so when you add it to hot food it won’t break down or curdle like sour cream sometimes does.  You can stir it into a sauce at the end to get a beautiful glossy finish and rich flavor.  You can mix it with mayo when you’re making potato or shrimp salad.  Stir it into an omelet or scrambled eggs.  It makes amazing dips, salad dressings, and frostings.   Sweeten it and use it like whipped cream with desserts and fruit.

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How cool is that?

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26 Responses to Minimal Monday: Homemade Creme Fraiche

  1. davena says:

    Wanted to replicate a butternut squash soup I tried while in San Francisco. Couldn’t find creme fraiche and decided to use this recipe. Did an earlier experiment using sour cream but this made such a big difference. Thanks.

  2. This is so good to know! My grocery store does carry creme fraische, but it is sooooo expensive. Seriously, something like seven dollars for a four ounce container of the stuff — wtf?! Now that I know how easy it is to make, I’ll definitely be doing this the next time I need some!

    • Sue says:

      There are so many skills and recipes like this that get lost over time, and people don’t realize that they can do it themselves…hope you try it Willow :)

  3. Christina says:

    This is pure genius! I always have buttermilk and cream in my fridge! Thanks for the post!

  4. heatherm says:

    Yay, I did bookmark a creme fraiche recipe that said to use a bit of yogurt as the principle is the same. Commercial buttermilk is often not real buttermilk and full of thickeners and additives, so will try with the yogurt one of these days.

  5. Toni Legates says:

    A great post. Most people are unaware of just how easy it is to make creme fraiche. I saw a recipe at a video blog I just love called Foodwishes.com. Where chef John does his take on “The Standard Grill’s” Million dollar chicken. Which just happens to be a roasted chicken that is slathered in a creme fraiche glaze. I haven’t made this dish yet but this post of yours has me craving it.

  6. Randi Lynne says:

    SO, I am a sour cream addict. I keep it on hand and like to top soups, stews, and all sorts of dishes with a dallop of the stuff. I have been reading food blogs for years and have seen how to’s for making your own yogurt, but never creme fraiche (which for my purposes is an equal exchange for sour cream, but actually even more versatile). I started it yesterday and today had some with my soup. Shared on Facebook saying there is no need to ever purchase sour cream again. It’s one of those “Where have you been my whole life??” moments. Thanks for posting.

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Randi Lynne, it’s great to have your testimonial! The thing I like about it especially is that it doesn’t curdle in hot sauces and soups like sour cream sometimes does.

  7. […] View Recipe Ingredients & Preparation Instructions […]

  8. Thanks for posting this! Sometimes this is hard to find in my local grocer so now I know I can just make it myself.

  9. I love to make creme fraiche this way. It’s crazy how expensive it is here. My daughter lives in London and creme fraiche is just an every day ingredient there, very inexpensive and ordinary. I think someone is playing a trick on us!

  10. shannon says:

    totally cool: this, like always, is very good to know, as my grocery store is hit or miss when it comes to the creme fraiche. Seems as though when i don’t need it, i see it, but when i seek it out as something to purchase, boom; not there. :) so now i have this as a backup, or i can just completely avoid looking altogether thanks to you.

  11. Kate says:

    Great looks on the new site design!
    I was forced to make creme fraiche when I wanted to try Smitten Kitchen’s peach pie recipe two years ago. The pie was awesome to eat and the creme fraiche was a cinch to make using her recipe. I was so stoked being able to use it in a variety of recipes now that I could make it and not hunt it down in a specialty store. I tried making it again this past winter. It was a fLoP! Never thickened. After reading your post I wonder if it was because I screwed a cover onto the jar while it cultured? I will try it again hoping the loose cloth cover does the trick. I have to make another fresh peach pie before the peaches are a distant summer memory :-\

    • Sue says:

      I read that you have to let air circulate while it is culturing, so that could have been it. The cover just has to keep bugs, etc, out, so you can use cheesecloth, or whatever you have around. You said it was winter, and that could be a problem, too. It sits at room temperature, but try to find a warmish spot.

  12. never thought to make my own creme fraiche and never thought it would be or look this easy. You did an amazing job! it looks perfect

  13. Jo-Anne Barkwill says:

    Thanks for this!! I love being able to make things myself. Small amounts and SO inexpensive, perfect for one. Love your blog :)

  14. I had no idea it was so basic! I guess the french words intimidated me right off the bat ;) Thanks for sharing this… for some reason I always shy away from recipes involving heavy cream because I’m afraid it’ll overpower everything with an abyss of creamy richness, but creme fraiche might be a good alternative because I just love the tang of buttermilk.

    • Sue says:

      I know just what you mean, I hesitate to use heavy cream, but creme fraiche just has that chic French way of making it all seem ok :)

  15. I don’t think my comment published – so I’ll try again. I am with you on not being able to find what I’m looking for in just one store. It often requires a trip to 3 stores to find less main stream products. I always have buttermilk so thanks for this easy recipe! I still love your site so much – beautiful job!

  16. You are so right Sue – sometimes I have to go to several different stores to find everything I need. Sad but true so thanks for this wonderfully easy recipe! Buttermilk I’ve got!

  17. Joanne says:

    Wow. This is SO much less expensive than creme fraiche! Especially since I always seem to have buttermilk around!

    • Sue says:

      I know, what’s up with the price of food these days? I think some of the fancy brands are actually from France…can you imagine paying for it to be flown over? This is waaay better!

  18. I am so pleased you have posted this. So many times I have gone to buy creme fraiche and there is none and so I have used sour cream instead. Don’t know why the penny has not dropped before …………of course a little buttermilk. I wonder if sour milk would work as well? I have been using sour milk in bread and pastry making lately and it is amazing. Maybe I have a cast iron stomach too!

  19. Sue says:

    Hi Mary — I’m not sure about the whey, but I think you can substitute a few tablespoons of the yogurt for the buttermilk. Try that and see. Let me know how it turns out!

  20. Monique says:

    It’s so pretty here!
    I love the sray of flowers above the title..LOVE.
    And your pic too..Well done!
    I will make this Sue..Thanks..

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