Monday, February 8, 2010

Nutrition Monday ~ Le Creme

"Please pass the creme fraiche."
"God bless you."
"No, I didn't sneeze.  I'm asking you to pass the creme fraiche."
"I don't even know what that is."
"It's French Cultured Cream."
"Well, miss fancy pants..."
"You don't even know the half of it.  I lacto-fermented it myself."
"OK, now you're just scaring me."
"But my tummy is full of good bacteria now."
"I just remembered I was supposed to scrub the grout in my shower.  Immediately.  Goodnight."

Don't let it scare you.  Creme Fraiche (pronounced crem fresh) is basically healthy sour cream.  But much fancier.  And you can feel extra fancy knowing it is a key ingredient in fine French cooking.  It is simpler than simple to make it. Our kitchen lights randomly went out, so I took these pictures where there was the best light, which happened to be in the living room.  Though it was quite enjoyable to be fireside while making food, I promise it's not normal.  You will need:
2 pints cream
2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk or creme fraiche from a previous batch if you're making it again.
First, pour a little bit of cream in your quart-sized jar.
Now, pour in all the buttermilk.
And the rest of the cream.
Stir it up.
And put a lid on it, already.
Now, just enjoy watching your cream lacto-ferment while you sit by the fire.  Or set it someplace warm, like next to the oven for 20-24 hours.  If it's winter, it'll take longer to thicken.  When it's hot out, it's ready a lot faster.  Then, store it in the fridge and voila!  La creme!  You made creme fraiche.  The amount of thickness is up to you.  You can determine the thickness by how long you let it sit out.  If you like it somewhat runny, keep it out for about 20 hours. If you like sour cream consistency, keep it out the full 24 (or less if you're experiencing a sizzling summer in the valley).  Then, you can serve a dollop of it on something super high-class like I did.
Never diss the beans and cheese.  Never.

30 comments:

  1. Very cool, similar to making yogurt. I'm determined to get a yogurt maker, (basically a container that keeps the temp. consistently warm). After reading this blog I bet I can make your fancy French sour cream in that too. Yay! Love all your natural food blogs!

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  2. Hey, you can keep yogurt warm enough by wrapping up in several layers of warm blankets. I'm serious-- it's the way my grandmother did it and the way we do it now. It looks crazy, but it really works. Wrap like they used to wrap meat at the butcher shop.

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  3. You are a wealth of information and I love you (but not just because you are a wealth of information). :)

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  4. AHHHH I HEART YOU! ok So I need to grab me one of those Huge cleavers, is that what its called? i am inspired. Is it the same one in the lao market I saw??? i almost got it last time but was not sure! ok and I keep saying, I am going to take pics while i make stuff and post the process and here you have done such a FANTASTICAL JOB ! makes me want to make something just to finally do it!! YAY

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  5. Um yes. I made this and it is delicious. I could (and do) eat it with about everything. Delicious with home made apple pie, curried tofu, mexican, everything! I also made the cheese and it turned out so good. Thanks!

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  6. This is next, going to the market today. Thanks so much.

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  7. We love cream fraiche, I have several recipes that I use it in. It is great to keep on hand in the refrigerator.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  8. This looks awesome, do you think I could use another culture such as kefir?

    Matilda
    http://sickofood.blogspot.com/

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  9. I'm not sure about using kefir culture. You might want to stick with buttermilk or a previous batch of creme fraiche.

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  10. Just had some of our creme fraiche on sourdough pancakes!!! The best and sooooo easy.

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  11. I was wondering how long this keeps for? I'm only one person, so I probably would at least half or 1/3 the recipe.

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  12. Hi! We polish off a quart in two weeks at the most and it's still good. As far as longer, I honestly wouldn't know. :)

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  13. Thanks for this recipe. Never heard of it, but I do want to try it someday. :)

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  14. LadyofthehomeschoolFebruary 25, 2012 at 6:36 AM

    I've been wanting to try my hand at this, now thanks to your simply instructions I think I will. Just curious, why is this healthier about this vs organic sour cream?
    Thanks!

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  15. Sour cream isn't usually cultured and doesn't contain probiotics like creme fraiche does. Have fun trying it out!

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  16. Thanks Katie for your quick response! I figured there was a good reason but as someone newish to the whole foods thing I like to try and understand the method to the madness :o)

    (btw, can you tell I was talking with my husband while writing my first comment, if I'm going to multitask I should at least edit before posting!)

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  17. Love this! I am making it all the time, nice to see other people making it too! I also make cultured buttermilk and quark the same simple way.

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  18. There is another way to make Creme Fraiche....I do it often. If you have milk kefir grains, you can put a tablespoon or two into a quart of heavy cream. 24 hours later you will have super thick, rich Creme Fraiche! Use your biggest, lump of grains, as it's difficult to strain them out of this thick delight. Now you have a pro-biotic rich Creme to enjoy! Or....whip it into butter for a fabulous, healthy kefir butter! Just thought I'd add my 2 cents worth ; )

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  19. Omg i love this recipe it is so easy! I made it yesterday! my husband and I love it! Its cheaper then sour cream, taste better, more food for less money, and better for you! I would highly recommend making this if i can do it anyone can certainly do it! :)

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  20. That's it? Are you serious? I am definitely trying this!

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  21. I started this last night and I already have nice thick creamy creme fraiche! Can hardly wait to try it on our chicken enchiladas for supper! Thanks for sharing your recipes etc. with the world! I appreciate you so much!

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  22. How long does it last in the fridge once its been made? I made a batch about a month ago and have a little bit left that I was wanting to use as starter for my next batch. Do you think its still good?

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  23. I would smell it and taste it. If there is any sign of mold, don't use it. If not and it smells and tastes like it did when you first made it, you're good to go. A batch never lasts more than two weeks here so I don't know how long it stays good beyond that. :)

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  24. Thank you for introducing us to creme fraiche. We love it! I have a question. I can't find organic heavy whipping cream to save my life. My farmer sells raw milk cream, but it's frozen. Do you think it would work for making creme fraiche? I have bought the cream once before to make whipped cream and could never get it to work. I don't think you can whip cream that's been frozen. Anyways, it's expensive so I hate to waste it trying. Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

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  25. I was told to add 1/4 tsp salt with the culture, to keep it from going bad quickly. Don't know if this is so, but I need to stop throwing out some of my homemade yogurt/buttermilk/etc. And the salt has made everything last a few days longer.

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  26. Can I make this using farm fresh cream, our local farm who we get our farm fresh milk from also sells quarts and pints of cream. Also can the buttermilk be from making farm fresh butter? After whipping it there is always buttermilk left at the bottom that I normally water wash off, but could def. pour out the 2 tbls of buttermilk your recipe calls for. Thank!

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