Homemade crème fraîche

September 23, 2010

Have you ever bought crème fraîche, just in case you might need it, and then had to throw it away because you didn’t have a chance to use it before the expiration date?

Do you even have a hard time finding decent crème fraîche in your local grocery store in the first place?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you’ll be thrilled to know that you can make your own crème fraîche in less than a minute, for a fraction of the cost of the store-bought kind — and you can make as little or as much of it as you need. Best of all, it’ll taste better than any crème fraîche you’ve ever bought.

Crème fraîche is a thickened cream that’s incredibly versatile, and thanks to its wonderfully thick texture, a little goes a long way. A dollop of that tangy cream will add a velvety-smooth consistency to soups or sauces and will give a wonderfully rich texture to any dessert. But the list of dishes that can be enhanced by crème fraîche is practically endless.

For the best flavor, use organic heavy cream to make your batch of crème fraîche. If you can find heavy cream from a local farmer, even better!

Homemade crème fraîche

makes 1/2 cup
active time: 5 min

  1. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk

  1. Place the cream in a glass jar. Add the buttermilk. Close jar tightly with a lid and shake well. Store the jar at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours until the mixture is thick. The fermentation will happen faster when the room temperature is warmer. Refrigerate in its jar for 1 week to 10 days. Double or triple the recipe according to your needs.

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Here are some of my favorite recipes with crème fraîche: Rosemary Gelato with Crème Fraîche and Creamy Butternut Squash Polenta with Spicy Wilted Spinach.

condiment, crème fraîche, buttermilk
© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

jm September 23, 2010 at 12:57 am

what a great idea. I’ll be sure to keep it in mind for the future :)

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Cristina September 23, 2010 at 1:09 am

Is that it for the creme fraiche? I can run to my fridge right now and make this! :)

I can never find this in stores and am always at a loss when it’s called for in a recipe. Thank you…this is a keeper!

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Viviane Bauquet Farre September 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

Yes, Cristina… It’s unbelievable but true. Crème fraîche is the easiest thing to do in this whole wide world! I make a batch every week.

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nesrine September 23, 2010 at 3:57 am

Lovely, good post.

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El September 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

I had absolutely no idea you could do this at home. All I need is buttermilk from the store? Can’t wait to try it! Thank you.

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Viviane Bauquet Farre September 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

El, yes… all you need is buttermilk. I’ve tried it with buttermilk from the farmers’ market (sheep’s milk) and it was truly delicious, a bit more tangy. You’ll be a convert after your first batch!

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passionateaboutbaking September 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Looks great to me. I hope non pasteurized cream works. Got to try this soon!
Thanks for sharing it so beautifully!

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Viviane Bauquet Farre September 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

I don’t see why the unpasteurized cream wouldn’t work… although I have not tried it since there are no farmers selling non pasteurized cream in my neck of the woods.

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Velva September 23, 2010 at 9:12 am

That’s it? Creme fraiche is cream with a little buttermilk? No kidding. I learn something new everyday. Thanks! This will make a big difference.

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Emily @Cleanliness September 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!

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BusyMOM @ Easy Appetizers September 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

So easy to make. Secret confession: I love anything that is thick, creamy and full-fat. So, making my own Creme Fraiche will be a real treat!

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cathy/ShowFoodChef September 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I’m obsessed with making my own ricotta and mascarpone and now this? I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for your lovely post. ALways enjoy your blog.

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Adelina September 23, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for your post!!! I made a Martha Stewart version like 10 years ago and don’t remember even how I did it.

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Nate @ House of Annie September 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

This would be very easy…if we could find fresh cream or buttermilk here. We mostly have Ultra Heat Treated milk in boxes here in Kuching.

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Jen September 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Come to think of it, I’ve never seen creme fraiche at the grocery store! I bet Fairway in Paramus would have it, though. Very happy to know it can be made with buttermilk. I’d made it half whipped cream half soure cream, but I bet the texture would be lighter this way.

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Viviane Bauquet Farre September 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Hi Jen! Sour cream changes the flavor of crème fraîche quite a bit… Definitely try it with the buttermilk and let me know what you think.

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Choclette September 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Yes we always make our own, trouble is it generally doesn’t work out cheaper as buttermilk is expensive and also hard to come by, but if you are organised (which sadly we seldom are) you can keep it going by making the next batch with the creme fraiche you’ve already made.

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Viviane Bauquet Farre September 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Choclette, I had no idea buttermilk was so expensive in the UK! I guess you have to make sure to use it some something ultra delicious as you need so little for the crème fraîche!

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jennynoowyn September 25, 2010 at 5:07 am

Wow, home-made creme fraiche. That is another level of cooking! Well done!

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Wizzythestick September 25, 2010 at 7:18 am

Lordy! That’s it! This isn’t sold in my country so this is a godsend for me. I can’t believe it’s so ridiculously easy

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Frank September 25, 2010 at 7:44 am

Now this is ‘news you can use’! The price of store-bought creme fraiche is really absurd and yet it’s so easy and inexpensive to make at home. Great stuff!

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heather September 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm

we always replace crème fraîche with sour cream, and were just commenting that we should try the real stuff some time. i love the idea of MAKING our own instead of buying it, since it can be rather expensive. will definitely bookmark this!

cheers and thanks,

*heather*

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Thank you for posting this. We can’t get crème fraîche easily here so this is perfect. Now to make sure I always have buttermilk on hand!

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Divina November 17, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hi Viviane, thanks for this post. What if buttermilk is not available? thanks.

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Viviane November 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Divina, You can use sour cream instead of buttermilk to make creme fraiche (use the same measurements). Can you find sour cream in Asia?

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Jay November 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

It is quite hard to find Creme Fraiche here in Northern Cyprus and definately over priced when you do find it, however, Buttermilk I think would be almost impossible to find! Is it true that you can allow a pint of Milk to ‘go off’ and use this? I have also not seen Sour Cream here.. Do you think yoghurt would work! I read an article saying you can make Buttermilk by adding vinegar or lemon juice I wonder if this would affect the flavour..

Many Thanks

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