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Homemade creme fraiche

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche is the sophisticated French cousin of sour cream. Its texture is smoother and the flavor more subtle, not quite so sour, but still a bit sharp. I like to finish sweet desserts with crème fraîche—a thin layer on my butterscotch pot de crème, a dollop on top of a berry pie or stirred into chocolate ganache. It can be used in place of sour cream or most places you might use heavy cream.


  • Quick-Read Thermometer


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk


  • Heat the cream and buttermilk in a saucepan over low heat until it reads about 85°F on your thermometer. (This can also be done in the microwave, but be careful to heat slowly, you don't want it to go above 85°F. )
  • Pour the mixture into a nonreactive bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen (warm, but not raging, radiator is perfect) for about 8 hours, or until it is nice and thick. 
  • Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool thoroughly for several hours. The crème fraîche will be nice and thick and ready to use. If it is thicker than you would like, you can simply stir it and the texture will loosen up, or you can "lighten" it with a bit more cream. I don't usually sweeten the crème fraîche, but you can certainly stir in a bit of sugar or honey to taste.