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Homemade Creme Fraiche

Sknuk just posted on Buttermilk/sourmilk and how to make it. I did not want to hijack the posting, but wanted to mention that you with that homemade buttermilk you can make creme fraiche and save your dollars for something else not so easy to make:

2 TB of buttermilk and a cup of whipping cream into a glass jar covered tightly. Shake or stir it well and let it sit at room temperature (not too too hot) for half the day - like you can use it that night if you make it in the morning or let it go overnight. You use it when it thickens. Stir it after the sitting and then pop it in the fridge.

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  1. just as a side note, this does not work well with ultra-pasteurized cream. i tried. i failed. ;(

    1. You can also use half of a cup of sour cream w/ a cup of cream. I let it sit room temperature more than a day and stir occasionally.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        That's good to know. I often have stray sour cream.

      2. Last batch I made was with heavy cream and sour cream, but I had not really enough of the latter so I threw in a good dollop of some rather elderly buttermilk I was about to throw out. Wound up with something just barely more fluid than butter and ridiculously delicious - got some strawberries and made some shortcakes and made the family very happy at Easter lunch.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          hey! i cannot find any seller who sell buttermilk in either online or off-line and i canot find any merchant who sell creme fraiche. so i have to make it myself from scratch. when making creme fraiche, can i make buttermilk like this : 1 cup of regular milk + 1 table spoon of white distilled vinegar made from heinz?
          could this hommade substitution of buttermilk work too?
          what do you think guys?

          1. re: hae young

            I'd be skeptical... It's my (limited) understanding that you need the cultures in buttermilk to create the creme fraiche. I wonder if that powered/dried buttermilk is cultured and/or whether it would work. Hope someone who knows more chimes in.

              1. re: chowser

                yes i can get sour cream.
                hey! but i read thomas keller's ad hoc at home. and there is buttermilk fried chicken recipe. after web searching, som recommend the substitution for buttermilk like this : 1 cup of reg milk and 1 tbs of white vinegar or lemon.
                the buttermilk substitution for creme fraiche have to be diffrent?

                1. re: hae young

                  I am frankly confused as to whether it's microorganisms or simply acidity that drives the thickening etcetera, since I have gotten good results with various combinations of regular off-the-shelf cream, sour cream and buttermilk, all of which were either pasteurized or super-pasteurized. I do think that simple acidulated milk would NOT be a working substitute for buttermilk in this case, though if someone wants to prove me wrong please go ahead and try it.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    actually the sour cream and heavy cream i buy contains almost 35% fat and 38% fat respectavely. some cookbooks i have read suggest that the fat contents of sour cream whch is about 15 or 20% can be the weakness of duplicated "creme fraiche". so if my sour cream has almost 35% of fat contens, do you think using buttermilk is not necessarily a necessary component when making duplicated "creme fraiche"? or could the sour cream and heavy cream combinations be still insufficient as opposed to that made of buttermilk and heavy cream?

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      I think you need the microbes to make creme fraiche b/c it is cultured by definition. Pasteurized cream should work better than UHT cream.

                      1. re: Candice

                        in case of making duplicated buttermilk, do you think the combination of skimmed milk and 1 or 2 tbs of sour cream may be much more similar than that of milk and acid such as lemon juices or white vinegar? what do you think?

            1. This is so great to know! Thank you.

              ~TDQ

              1. Can you use yogurt as the culture? Got some cream and yogurt, but no buttermilk nor sour cream, and if I can avoid a trip to the store, so much the better.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Bat Guano

                  Yes! I believe Julia Child suggested yogurt in her earlier books when she was telling us how to make creme fraiche. I have used that successfully too. In "The Way to Cook" she suggests sour cream as a lower-calorie alternative, which I don't understand at all - perhaps the yogurt she'd had in mind was the very rich full-fat kind. I've used low-fat and nonfat and it worked just fine.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Low calorie creme fraiche? What would be the point?;-)

                    1. re: chowser

                      Well, you don't get low-calorie creme fraiche, just lowER. Seein' as how we're having THREE Thanksgivings this year, plus the fact that I have to go in for my six-months cholesterol-and-triglycerides checkup next week, I'm sorta in a trimming-the-fat mood right about now. Not to mention itty bitty portions of potatoes and stuffing...

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        You know, lowfat creme fraiche is still lovely. I'm sure nonfat creme fraiche, if it's something that even exists, is a pointless abomination, but personally, I don't find dropping from full-fat dairy to low-fat dairy to be too objectionable in most instances. I suppose it depends on what you're using it for, but if it's not meant to be the star of whatever dish its in, I'm sure LF would be a fine way to go.

                        I've got to try this!

                        ~TDQ

                  2. Thanks to this post I tried making it with sour cream. I'd only heard of using buttermilk before. This worked wonderfully! And I will surely use up the sour cream whereas the buttermilk might have gone to waste. In fact, I already had S.C. so it was a no brainer!