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Video:How to Make Creme Fraiche

with John Mitzewich

Creme fraiche means "fresh cream" in French, and it's an incredibly decadent type of sour cream. Though it's very expensive in the store, it's fun and easy to make at home. Save cash and try this creme fraiche recipe.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Creme Fraiche

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com, today we're making something called creme fraiche, it's a fancy French sour cream, very expensive in the stores, really easy to make at home.

What is Creme Fraiche

Now your first clue that something is going to be really expensive is if there's two accent marks, that's never a good sign. Creme fraiche means "fresh cream" in French which is funny because you know what it's not? Fresh cream, it's actually sour cream. But it's the best sour cream. It's incredibly luxurious, amazing flavor and texture and I'm going to show how to make it because it's so easy to make.

Heat the Sour Cream

You want 2 cups of heavy cream, use regular pasteurized, NOT ultra pasteurized. On a low flame just warm it slightly, just tepid, warm to the touch, then turn off the heat. We don't want this hot, we just want to take the chill off. Add 3 tbsps of buttermilk, and what going to happen, you going to stir that in and the cultures in the buttermilk are going to turn the cream into creme fraiche.

Allow the Creme Fraiche to Thicken

Now this is going to take a while. Put it in a glass jar with a lid and leave it out at room temperature in a warm spot for 24 hours. Don't be scared the cultures in the buttermilk will protect it. Give it a stir occasionally, like every 6-8 hours. After 24 hours in a warm room it's going to be pretty thick. Not creme fraiche thick yet, but its going to be pretty thick. Give it a good stir and put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and it will continue to thicken and turn into creme fraiche.

After 24 hours we're going to unveil this and its going to look like that creme fraiche I showed at the beginning. By the way, this will keep 7-10 days in the fridge.

How to Use Creme Fraiche

Creme fraiche has so many advantages over sour cream. Number one, you can whip it. You cant whip sour cream. It turns into this amazingly fluffy, beautiful whipped cream. You can add sugar if you going to serve it with desserts. You can do it savory without sweetening it, just a little pinch of salt and serve it with caviar, baked potato, whatever you used sour cream for.

Another huge advantage is that you can cook with creme fraiche and won't separate or curdle like sour cream. So if you are doing beef stroganoff or a cream sauce it incredibly, incredibly delicious in that. So there it is, creme fraiche. So easy to make at home, delicious, interesting to make, incredibly versatile. I really hope you give it a try. Enjoy.
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