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Apr 7, 2010 10:31 PM

Clover Stornetta heavy cream turning into creme fraiche

Has anyone else had the experience of Clover Stornetta heavy cream thickening into creme fraiche by itself after just sitting in the fridge for a week? Any ideas on what's different about their cream that makes it naturally turn? It is pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized, though I'm not sure if that's what causing it or if there are cultures in the cream already when I purchased it.

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  1. I try to stick with Clover products as much as I can - they are wonderful! I've had the cream get a very thick layer on the top, but never had it convert all the way to creme fraiche. Did it take any longer than usual to get from store to refrigerator?

    6 Replies
    1. re: mcuneo

      My cream didn't turn completely to creme fraiche, but some parts did thicken. I kept the cream cold during transport, so I know I didn't cause it.

      1. re: michaelnrdx

        Are you saying that your cream turned a bit tangy, not unlike sour cream? Or just developed a thick layer of cream on the top?

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          It developed a thick layer on the top. That layer was tangy, so it has to be creme fraiche. (No, it definitely was not spoiled cream.) Creme fraiche also formed around the sides reaching all the way to the bottom. There was a pool of liquid cream in the center.

          1. re: michaelnrdx

            Creme fraiche is heavy cream that's cultured with buttermilk or sour cream, left out in a warm place overnight and thickens like sour cream. It's not quite as tangy as sour cream and can be cooked without breaking, unlike sour cream. In France, creme friache is made from unpasteurized cream and the friendly bacteria the cream contains; sadly, we don't often have the option of purchasing unpasteurized heavy cream in the US.

            What you have is butterfat that has separated from the whey in your heavy cream, which obviously has a high butterfat content. Pasteurized heavy cream doesn't turn into creme fraiche by itself, it needs a culture to develop. Without the controlled culturing, the cream is just going to spoil eventually. Free floating bacteria may be the cause of the tangy flavor developing in your cream, but the thickening is just separation.

            I'm seen this butterfat separation before as well, with other brands of heavy cream. It's not that uncommon and it's also not creme fraiche.

            Buy some creme fraiche or make some with your heavy cream and you'll see the difference between what I believe you have and cultured creme fraiche. It is nice to have a source of high butterfat heavy cream, when so much of the supermarket stuff is not, and it seems like this particular dairy has a market on this product, according to other posters who have purchased it and have had a similar experience to yours. Perhaps you could speak to the dairy directly regarding your experience and see what they say about it.

            Here's the basic creme fraiche formula:

            I tablespoon buttermilk or sour cream
            1 cup heavy cream

            Shake well together in a jar with a lid, allow to set out at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir a few times during that period. Let ripen in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours before using.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              EDIT: From the Clover Stornetta Dairy website, their heavy cream is a minimum 40% butterfat, and not ultra-pasteurized. Regular dairy heavy cream must contain a minimum of 36% butterfat.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                I've made creme fraiche before, and I thought the self-thickened cream tasted a bit like what I made. Is the separation of the fat related to clotted cream?