Sunday, June 19, 2011

Crème Fraiche (Homemade)

Crème Fraiche is a thickened cream that is achieved by adding buttermilk or sour cream to heavy whipping cream and allowing it to sit at room temperature overnight. It is super easy to make (and much cheaper than buying) and a great addition to a lot of dishes! It can be used as you would sour cream but can also be used in sweet dishes as well as it is tangy and has a pleasant nutty flavor. You can stir fresh herbs into it for a nice sauce for fish, dollop it on lentil soup, add it to scrambled eggs, or risotto…I could go on and on, I personally just like it by the spoonful, I’m bad, I know!

Crème Fraiche
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk (I used low fat)

Gently heat the cream and buttermilk to between 85°-105°, but not over! Be careful, this happens quickly. Do it on your stove top on lowest heat you can and don’t walk away. Pour into a glass jar and allow to thicken overnight at room temperature, between 68°-72°. The next day, stir it and place in the refrigerator for 1 more day to thicken some more then it is ready to use. It will keep for up to 2 weeks but probably won’t last that long!!!

We made a recipe using our crème fraiche from Laura Calder
on the Cooking Channel:

--Now I know what you are saying. I bought a jug of buttermilk and the smallest one they had was 1 quart. What can I do with all of this buttermilk? Well, here are some ideas:

Buttermilk dressing:
Combine with a whisk and refrigerate for up to a week:
½ cup Greek Style Yogurt (or mayo, or ¼ cup each)
¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice and zest)
1 small clove garlic, mashed into a paste with some salt with the flat side of your knife
1 small shallot, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Pinch of sugar or squeeze of honey or agave nectar
¼ cup total of chopped fresh herbs such as: chives, dill, and parsley (you could really use anything here: basil, tarragon, cilantro, oregano, thyme, etc.)

4 cups white whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°.
In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Add the butter and pulse until crumbs are formed. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the buttermilk just until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat the dough into about ¾-1 inch thickness. Using a 2-3 inch cutter cut the biscuits out as close as you can to each other to minimize scraps. Gather up scraps and pat together and cut again.  Place the biscuits on a sheet pan so that they are touching each other. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool slightly then serve warm…with fresh strawberries and crème fraiche maybe???

Buttermilk Pie: you don’t hardly ever see this anywhere…I am gonna make one---RECIPE TO COME!!!

Some other Ideas:
Marinate chicken for a few hours then grill.
Buttermilk Ice cream…

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