Creme fraiche is pronounced 'krem fresh'. It is a thick and smooth heavy cream with a wonderfully rich and velvety texture. This matured cream has a nutty, slightly sour taste produced by culturing pasteurized cream with a special bacteria. In France, where it originated, the cream is unpasteurized so it naturally contains the bacteria necessary to make creme fraiche. The butterfat content varies (usually 30%), as there is no set standard so you will find every brand tastes a little differently. Creme fraiche can be found in specialty food stores and some grocery stores although it is quite expensive.
Creme fraiche is used in both sweet and savory dishes. Makes a wonderful topping for fresh berries, cobblers and puddings.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F (40 degrees C). Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk. Transfer cream to a large bowl and allow the mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still pourable. Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours. This takes anywhere from 8 to 36 hours. The creme is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste. Chill cream for several hours before using. Creme fraiche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Creme fraiche frosting:
In bowl of electric mixer, with whisk attachment, beat the Creme fraiche with 1-2 tablespoons (14-28 grams) of granulated white sugar until stiff peaks form. Can use instead of whipped cream for desserts that would benefit from the slight nutty sour taste.
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Note: If possible, use pasteurized heavy whipping cream, as ultra pasteurized will take much longer to thicken.