Here is an excerpt from a "test kitchen" connoisseur of good grub, Frank Potter. Creme Fraiche:
While thinking of clarified butter, I was reminded of Creme Fraiche (pronounced "Cream Fresh"). This is a heavy cream in France, used in cooking, and has about 35% butterfat. (Good Stuff, Maynard!) But now, young William, you can make your own, at home. You can be the first on your block to make Creme Fraiche! ( Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.)
You blend our American heavy cream with sour cream; let it sit out on the cabinet until it ferments and thickens; then you refrigerate it. That's it.
Use 1/2 pint commercially soured cream and mix it with 1 pint heavy cream. That is the ratio. Put the soured cream into a saucepan, blend in the heavy cream. Heat it very gently to take off the ice box chill and to start up the fermentation action. Don't let it heat over 85-90 degrees or you will kill off all the good bacteria. Put in a covered container and set it out at about 72-75 degrees overnight. See, in the morning, if it has thickened. If so, stir, cover and refrigerate. If not, allow a few more hours for it to do its thing. After you have used the majority of your supply, it acts as a "starter", so just add some more heavy cream and repeat the process.
You're probably wondering what's the point? Why go to all this trouble? Well, it is not a lot of trouble, and it preserves regular cream for 10 days or more, maybe two weeks. You can dip out a dab to use in a spoon for cooking scrambled eggs, and whatever you want to use it to cook with. It boils without curdling, which I don't think you can do with sour cream. It also tastes great on berries and pies, just add a sprinkle of sugar.
You can also do this with buttermilk, or yogurt, but sour cream produces a less aciditic Creme Fraiche.
Post by whisperingpass on Feb 1, 2005 15:12:24 GMT -6
You face the same difficulties freezing crème frâiche as you do with whipping cream, sour cream, and yogurt. The water, which has been evenly dispersed throughout the solution, separates to form ice. When it thaws, it is difficult to mix everything together as thoroughly as before. Consequently, whipping cream is unlikely to whip as well or at all, although most people find it perfectly acceptable for use in cooking. Sour cream and yogurt are likewise equally tasty, but you might prefer to cook with them rather than make dips, where they might seem a bit sloppy.
Crème frâiche, which also can be whipped like whipping cream, will likewise give up that talent upon freezing, but you will probably be able to mix it well enough after thawing for most any other crème-frâiche-specific use.