Homemade Creme Fraiche Recipe
For those who haven't seen my crème fraîche recipe tucked away in the tip section of my vegetarian quinoa and eggplant caviar, here's the recipe:
Just heat about a cup of heavy cream (do NOT boil). Using a thermometer, the temperature should be between 105°F to 110°F. The temperature should not exceed 115°F or the lactobacilli bacteria that curdles the cream will die. Turn off the heat. Add a tablespoon of buttermilk to make it curdle. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm area (such as next to the stove). Let the bowl rest at least 8 hours. Stir. The longer it stays, the more tart the flavor will be. Depending on the season (it's much faster during the summer), let the mixture stand for a total of one day, up to 1-1/2 days. Plastic-wrap the thickened cream and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 weeks. It's delicious.
It's so much more fun making your own. Homemade crème fraîche has a lot of advantages. It's all natural, no chemical thickening agent, emulsifiants, no preservatives, artificial flavors, gelatine and food coloring to make it more yellow. I strongly recommend that you read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Your food will never again look the same, please check the ingredients list on the products you buy.
For more recipes using crème fraîche (click on the photo to get the recipe), check out my creamy gorgonzola ranch salad dressing, rose panna cotta with grenadine syrup and crunchy French pralines, cherry and berry yogurt granola parfait , tarte pomme de terre and grilled pineapple and mascarpone parfait.
UPDATE: Per Elizabeth's advice, no need to heat the cream. Just place in a warm area (at room temperature) for at least 8 hours. I haven't tried that version yet. I'll keep you posted.
You can also add a dollop of crème fraîche in your soup. It'll give a richer texture.