Ever feel like you need to fancy dinner up a bit? How about breakfast? Ever find yourself needing something that exists between heavy cream and sour cream? Ever want to stir something creamy into a sauce and not run the risk of it curdling over high heat? Crème fraîche to the rescue.
Crème fraîche is a French-style soured cream, that's made by culturing heavy cream. No, we don't mean taking it to the opera, we mean introducing bacterial cultures and allowing it to ferment slightly. Don't be disturbed by the word 'bacterial,' that's also how yogurt is made. The resultant mixture is a gently soured cream that can be applied to breakfast dishes, baking recipes, canapés, soups, braises, perfect beef stroganoff, etc. It also has the benefit of being curdle-resistant, which means you can cook with it over high heat, or stir it into a wine sauce without ruining everything. Crème fraîche recipes are pretty easy to come by, since a dollop of it ensures a creamy flavor and velvety texture wherever it appears, but we wanted to share some of our favorites with you today. First things first, how do you find it?
You can buy crème fraîche in most grocery stores, usually packaged like small containers of sour cream. One of our favorites is produced by Vermont Creamery.
With a little time and courage, you can make your own crème fraîche by introducing a culture (like a bit of real buttermilk) into heavy cream and letting it sit at room temperature.
Get the Homemade Crème Fraîche recipe from Pip & Ebby
Once you've got your crème fraîche, it's off to the delicious races. Let us know your favorite way to use it, if we missed it in the slideshow below!