Monday, July 6, 2009

Crème Fraîche - Ooh La La!

On a recent visit, my friend Kim passed along a recipe for crème fraîche, which I made and got rave reviews for at an Independence Day BBQ.
Despite its complicated diacritical marks and general air of French aloofness, crème fraîche is remarkably easy to make. It's also delicious, versatile, and an excellent bulk-builder for those of you trying to gain weight (seriously - it's 28% butterfat. Which is why it tastes so good!)

Cool things about crème fraîche :
  • You can whip it, whip it good (thank you, Devo, for leaping unbidden into my head)
  • You can use it in sweet or savory dishes
  • It won't curdle in recipes - although you should still add it at the end of cooking, and don't use light crème fraîche for cooking.
  • It keeps for 7-10 days in the refrigerator
Crème Fraîche Ingredients:
2 c. heavy (or "double," in the UK) cream - NOT ultra-pasteurized!
3 T. buttermilk
  • Heat the heavy cream verrrrry gently over a low flame until just warmed.
  • Stir in the buttermilk.
  • Transfer to a glass jar; leave for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir, then put in the refrigerator for a few more hours, to cool.
  • Whip with a bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla; mix in savory ingredients for a delicious chip dip; stir into borscht, asparagus soup, black bean chili, scoop over baked potatoes - basically, anything you'd use whipped cream or sour cream for, you can use Crème fraîche.
*Note: My crème fraîche became increasingly thicker as time went on, so by the time the Bald Guy and I ate the last of it, it was very thick indeed - like softened margarine. Still absolutely delicious!

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