Crème fraîche, the slightly soured cream so popular in France, is easy to make at home. This recipe yields about 1 cup (8 oz.) of crème fraîche, but easily halves or doubles or, even, triples!
- In a small saucepan over low heat, warm 1 cup heavy cream (not ultra-pasteurized!) to about 90°F to 100°F degrees. Remove cream from heat. Stir in 1 Tbsp. yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream.
- Pour the mixture into a jar or clean bowl. Seal or cover and set in a warm place – near a pilot light, on top of a fridge, or on top of a stove are some good choices – until it starts to thicken, between 12 and 24 hours.
- Once the mixture starts to thicken, smell it. It should smell fresh and clean. Taste it. It should taste tangy rather than sour.
- Chill the crème fraîche before using, since it will thicken more in the fridge.
Crème fraîche is delicious used in place of sour cream, dolloped onto soups, added to salad dressings, or served it alongside berries or berry desserts. Crème fraîche will keep, covered and chilled, up to a week.