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~ How to Make Crème Fraîche w/Whole Buttermilk ~

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8d60061970bCrème fraîche, pronounced fresh and meaning fresh cream -- it's delightful.  In technical terms, it's a French-invented soured cream containing 30%-40% butterfat and a pH of about 4.5.  While its name is French, soured creams are common in most of Eastern and Northern Europe.  Similar to sour cream, which contains about 15%-20% butterfat, it's soured with bacterial culture found in buttermilk.  In cooking it's preferred over sour cream because its higher fat content prevents "breaking" or becoming unstable when stirred into sauces or soups.  Because crème fraîche is less tangy than sour cream, it can be sweetened with powdered sugar and flavored with vanilla and ladled over desserts or fresh fruit -- it can be whipped to soft peaks as well.

Crème fraîche is seriously, astonishingly easy to make.  

Simply stir a bit of buttermilk into some heavy cream and let it sit at room temperature until it thickens, which takes 12-24 hours.  The standard ratio is 1:16, or 1 tablespoon buttermilk: 1 cup heavy cream.  Within reason, the ratio can be adjusted too.  For example:  If you want to hasten the thickening process or desire a more drizzly consistency (similar to Mexican-style crema), just add an extra tablespoon of buttermilk.  Every time the discussion of crème fraîche arises, someone always asks, "won't the cream spoil if left at room temperature?"  Worry not.  The good bacteria in the buttermilk multiplies and overtakes the bad bacteria which prevents that from happening.  That's why is why I prefer whole buttermilk to lowfat to make crème fraîche.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8d5846b970b3  cups heavy or whipping cream

3-6  tablespoons whole buttermilk

In a 2-quart saucepan, stir cream and buttermilk.  Over low heat, stirring constantly, heat to 85°F.  Remove from heat, partially cover and set aside at room temp 12-24 hours. Gently stir, cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.  At any time during the 10 days, crème fraîche or leftover crème fraîche can be used in place of whole buttermilk to start a "fresh" supply.

Simply, scrumptious & a delightful treat: 

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2604e2d970cHow to Make Crème Fraîche w/Whole Buttermilk:  Recipe yields 3-3 1/2 cups old-fashioned buttermilk and 3 cups crème fraîche.

Special Equipment List:  2-quart saucepan w/lid; instant-read thermometer

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8d5fc29970bCook's Note:  Another product that many folks don't know about and fits into this discussion, which is perfect for cooks who use so little buttermilk that all they need is an occasional cup to bake or cook with is: ~ Buttermilk Powder:  What it is & How to Use It ~.  It a great product to keep on hand in your pantry.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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