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Sep 11, 2007 10:36 AM

Creme Fraiche Substitute

The supermarket was out of Creme Fraiche. What can I use for a Substitute? Thanks in advance for the help.

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      1. re: cheesemonger

        definitely sour cream!

        someone has also told me before... for 1 cup of creme fraiche, use 1/2 cup each of sour cream and whipping cream...

    1. You could make your own. I use 2 cups heavy cream and wisk in 2 tablespoons sour cream. Keep in a glass bowl or jar on the countertop overnight. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before using. Use pasteurized cream, not ultra-pasteurized, if possible. You can also use buttermilk instead of the sour cream. Keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge. I can never find creme fraiche in my supermarket!

      4 Replies
      1. re: cookingschool

        Silly question I'm sure, but keeping it out on the countertop overnight seems strange. Wouldn't it go bad? Please school me on this.

        1. re: angelo04

          Well, this is when I wish I knew more about food science, but here's the way I understand it:

          It is the live bacteria in the sour cream or buttermilk, acting as fermenting agents, that multiply and protect the cream. You can even leave it out on the counter longer than 24 hours, if it hasn't thickened up enough. It sometimes takes longer to thicken if you use ultra-pasteurized cream. I've left it out as long as 28 hours, just to get it thick enough....thick like whipped cream. But you do need to refrigerate it at that point. Maybe someone who understands the science better can elaborate. In the meantime, I'm alive and kicking! (and it was a very good question!)

          1. re: cookingschool

            As I understand it, not being a microbiologist, the friendly bacteria predominate in the mix of naturally-occurring bacteria that feed on dairy products. In other words, the creme fraiche, or yogurt, or cultured buttermilk, bacteria, win the environmental competition for food resources, i.e., the dairy product's sugars, proteins, etc.

            1. re: pmarie1

              MAKE SURE THE SOUR CREAM HAS LIVE CULTURES or it will go bad if you leave it out!

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Oh, excellent! That's just the answer I was searching for.

        2. If you are cooking something that is not sweet, go to a Mexican market and buy some crema mexicana. It's a tarter thicker version of sour cream and costs about half of creme fraiche.It cooks beautifully where sour cream tends to separate.

          It doesn't work that well for me in desserts, too strong..
          There I would use Greek yogurt.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gala

            I agree, crema is really delicious. It is quite salty though, so again, beware using in sweet recipes.

            1. re: gala

              I agree that Crema is the closest sub. Much closer than sour cream.

            2. Sour Cream, however if cooking with it. Sour cream can curdle in a source or baking, Creme Fraiche does not. But sour cream is the sub.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kchurchill5

                and make sure it is full-fat sour cream. anything less could break over heat.