Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Homemade Creme Fraiche


It seems like such a very long time ago that I put a post on my blog for making creme fraiche. Since then, although the ingredients are still the same (now I use locally produced dairy products) and the method identical, I've changed the measurements which has resulted in a very creamy, silky-textured creme fraiche that I like better than my original. This is so simple to make, I don't know why everyone doesn't have a jar of it setting up on the back of their stove.

Creme fraiche is only as good its ingredients and I try to use fresh, organic if possible, rBST-free dairy products. The ingredients in this recipe, while not from the much-lauded Strauss Family Creamery, are from local dairy cows, fed on grass-rich, local dairy pastures and produced by our local Humboldt Creamery. While not organic per se, they do come from within 50 miles of my home and are not fed hormones. Not to be disloyal to local dairies but next time I make this I will try the Strauss Family dairy products to see if I get a superior product.

Creme fraiche is a boon to the carb-conscious, coming in at less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per 1 tablespoon. It's not low fat however, so I suggest one be light-handed with portion size. It's a perfect garnish for soups, such as this butternut squash bisque or this squash-ginger-shiitake soup, and when combined with a tiny bit of sugar or Splenda and a splash of vanilla, is a great topping for desserts or on these itty bitty low-carb pancakes.

Homemade Creme Fraiche
Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, not ultra-pasteurized (use the best you can find)
2 tablespoons buttermilk (I used 1% butterfat and it worked fine but you can use up to 3% butterfat content)
1 - 12 ounce glass jar with a tight fitting lid
1 - 2 cup glass measuring cup
1 metal whisk or spoon

Preparation:
Sterilize the glass jar, lid, measuring cup and spoon by either running them through your dishwasher or allowing them to steep in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain on a clean dish towel.
Pour the whipping cream and the buttermilk into the measuring cup and stir until blended.
Pour the liquid into the glass jar and screw the lid on tightly.
Set the jar on the back of your stove or other rather warm place in your kitchen for about 8 hours.
Stir the contents of the jar. If the cream has thickened to the consistency of silky, soft yogurt, it's done. If not, screw the jar back on and allow to sit for another 4 to 6 hours.
When the cream has thickened, give it a stir, put the lid back on and store it in the fridge. It will keep there for 3 weeks to 1 month.

A note of caution: If 24 hours goes by and your cream has not thickened, throw it out and start over. You might try using a different brand of dairy products, plus check to see that your cream is not ultra-pasteurized.

3 comments:

sher said...

I need to make this. The stuff at Nugget costs a fortune!! And I bet this tastes better too.

Hey, we're getting a Target! :):)

Mimi J. said...

I will try this over the holidays when life gets a bit less frenetic and report back!

christine said...

Sher, If the "stuff" at Nugget is from Bellweather Farms, I'd make my own and then compare it to this award-winning creme fraiche! It's said to be the most sublime taste ever.
I heard about the Target argument. When is it supposed to open?

Hi Mimi,
I forgot to add in my post that when refrigerated, the creme fraiche will thicken substantially. Just give it a good stir to loosen it up.
Enjoy!