A standard fare in France, this thick, rich cultured cream is used much like sour cream. Crème fraîche is quite easy to culture at home and is a real treat on the table.
Here are some reasons to add crème fraîche to your culturing repertoire:
- Crème fraîche has a delicious slight sour tang in flavor that is creamy, with a mild nuttiness that is less tart than sour cream.
- It can be made into whipped cream or cultured butter with ease since it is based in heavy cream.
- It doesn't separate or curdle when heated, which is ideal when you place a dollop on top of hot cobblers or stews.
- The bacteria in the cream actually aids in preservation so it tends to keep fresh in the refrigerator longer than milk or cream.
- Crème fraîche can be made easily at home, using a couple of different starter cultures.
Crème fraîche is great with just about everything. Consider serving it with smoked salmon or using it to thicken pan sauces. Try replacing some butter in mashed potatoes with a bit of crême fraîche. Add a dollop to soup, stew, or stir-fried vegetables.
Any place you use heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese, or even butter, use crême fraîche as a partial or full replacement. You can't go wrong!