I was turned on to crème fraîche when I started making home-made yogurt, and I was desperate for a creamy treat for my son, who was craving ice cream.
Crème fraîche, besides being a fantastic substitution for sour cream, can be used to make lots of rich and creamy foods, like frozen yogurt and fruit smoothies. Any recipe that calls for yogurt, like a scone or a muffin, can be made that much richer with crème fraîche.
This crème fraîche, like other yogurts I make (goat milk, half & half, etc.) is cultured for 24 hours to remove all the lactose from the heavy cream. If you’re not following SCD, you don’t have to culture it for 24 hours, but the longer you culture it, the less lactose will remain at the end and the tarter the yogurt will be.
- Add the heavy cream to a medium size saucepan and heat slowly, on a low flame, with a thermometer inserted in the liquid to measure its temperature. I set the timer for 10 minutes at the beginning and after that I check it every 3 minutes or so. When the liquid reaches about 160 degrees F, I hover over the pan to catch it just as it is reaching 180 degrees F (it's a steady simmer, not a boil).
- Next, let it cool to room temperature. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pan in an ice water bath.
- Once the liquid is at or close to room temperature, add the yogurt starter to my yogurt container (I use a glass container). Remove the film from the top of the pan with a fork, and then pour the liquid into the yogurt container and stir to dissolve the starter.
- Next, place the yogurt container in the yogurt maker, and let the magic last for 24 hours. I set a reminder in my email/calender application to take the yogurt out the next day.
- Finally, place the yogurt container in the refrigerator for about 8 hours.
How long will this keep in the refrigerator for? Can you freeze it?
About a week or so, similar to yogurt. I haven’t frozen it, so not sure if it will freeze well.
Is the first step, to boil the cream, essential? I made creme fraiche on my countertop, just by mixing a tablespoon of yogurt into it cold. It’s been two days sitting at room temperature and it’s cultured—it’s thickened, yellow and there’s no mold, but it doesn’t have a very strong sour taste. When I’ve made creme fraiche before (during the summer, when it was about 20 degrees warmer) and it’s been VERY sour. Thoughts?
Yes, that’s absolutely fine! You only need to boil the cream if you’re following SCD because there are very strict requirements to insure there is no stray bacterial strains other than the SCD approved probiotics. The more sour, the longer it’s fermented along with a greater population of probiotics to begin with.
Ok I found a much easier way to make this. Add 2 T buttermilk to 1 pint cream. Cover and place in warm place for 24 hrs. Totally worked and was super easy!
Yes, that is a common way, but is it lactose-free?
Sue Jones Umberger
Your recipe for creme fraiche calls for heavy cream. Doesn’t heavy cream have lactose? Wouldn’t your recipe be harmful to those that have milk allergies? Thank you.
Heavy cream actually has less lactose in it then milk. That said, if you culture it for the full 24 hours, the bacteria break down all of the lactose in the cream.
I whip creme fraiche all the time. I add a little honey, stevia or dextrose, to sweeten and a little vanilla (or almond, rum or other flavoring) then whip away with cold beaters and bowl. It whips beautifully and makes luscious cloud-like cream that is excellent with pumpkin pie. If you are expecting it to taste exactly like whipped cream it may take a little time to get used to the slightly yogurty tasty. After 3 months of no sugar or starch on SCD, this was a treat and tasted lovely. The trick is to not eat the whole batch in one sitting.
Nice additions! My favorite use of whipped creme fraiche is in strawberry shortcakes (there’s a recipe on this blog for it too).
Hi Megan. I use pasturized cream also. No problem.
Is it possible to use pasturized cream for this recipe? I can’t get my hands on raw cream!!
Hi Gina, I did, once a while ago. It was just ok for me. The rest of the gang wouldn’t touch it. So I didn’t try it again. But, I think if it’s not cultured as long (not as sour) it will taste more like whipped cream. You might consider a coconut oil-based frosting. It’s on my list to try soon.
Have you ever whipped it added honey to make a “whipped cream” of sorts? I was thinking about making it to use as a topping for the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
If you like coconut I have also let a can of coconut chill in the fridge over night to separate the fat from the milk. Scoop off the fat and use it – part creme fresh, part coconut with honey and vanilla to taste. Takes some of the tangyness out of the “whipped cream” but also makes for a less strong coconut flavour if your recipe doesn’t support strong coconut flavour.