The sauce crème fraiche is a thick sauce you might come across in French cuisine. What is crème fraiche? It’s a sauce that starts with cream and then thickens it with bacterial cultures. These also add an acidic quality to it that gives it a distinctive flavor.
What to Use Creme Fraiche for?
Creme Fraiche is often served as a dipping sauce for fruits or veggies, but it can be added to foods you are cooking as a thickening ingredients that makes them creamier and richer. Some recipes call for it to be incorporated into a soup or sauce to give them some added dairy flavor.
The acidity of this creme makes it a smart addition to foods that are too bland and could use some acid to spice them up.
How to Make Crème Fraiche
You can make this at home pretty easily. Just mix together buttermilk and cream and then let these rest for about 12 hours at room temperature. They should be in a covered container and kept at a fairly stable temperature.
How much cream and how much buttermilk should you use? It doesn’t matter that much, as long as there is more cream than buttermilk. If you add more buttermilk to the mixture, then it will thicken faster, which is what you are waiting for it to do when you leave it out for 12 hours.
However, extra buttermilk will make the cream less creamy. If you add more cream, then it will take longer to thicken but will taste richer and sweeter.
If you want some measurements to work with, you can try a tablespoon of buttermilk for every cup of cream. This gives you a ratio of about 1:16.
How Long Does Creme Fraiche Last?
Once you mixed together the buttermilk and cream and allowed them to thicken to the desired consistency, you can store your crème fraiche in the fridge. It can keep there in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but if it starts to smell different or change color, then it is time to toss it out.
Keep in mind that the freshness and shelf life of this cream will depend on how fresh your ingredients were and how long you had them in your fridge before you combined them.
What Is a Substitute for Creme Fraiche?
Probably the best option for a crème fraiche substitute is sour cream. What makes them so similar is that sour cream and crème fraiche are both cultured (made from bacteria cultures) and are sour. What is the difference between creme fraiche and sour cream? The consistency will be a bit different, but you can use them interchangeably in your recipes.
How to make creme fraiche with sour cream? You can take 2 tablespoons out sour cream and two cups of heavy whipping cream and mix them together with a whisk until they are well blended. Then, put them in an airtight container and leave them at room temperature for one to two days.
You know it’s ready when the mixture thickens. Once it has thickened, you can put your mixture into the refrigerator and keep it there for a couple weeks. If you’re storing a crème fraiche mixture with sour cream in the fridge, it can seep off some watery liquid. Just discard that whenever you notice it to help the crème fraiche stay fresh and thick.
Mexican crema is another good substitute for crème fraiche, but it’s sweeter and a little thinner. If you only need a little bit of crème fraiche in your food, the Mexican crema will work well, particularly as a garnish.
The final substitute I want to share with you is cream cheese. It’s a lot thicker than crème fraiche, so make sure you add some milk or another dairy liquid to it to thin it out a little bit. Ensure that it’s mixed well together with your liquid so it will melt when needed for your recipe.
How to Make Creme Fraiche with Yogurt
You can use yogurt to make it good crème fraiche substitute that’s very similar to the real deal. You’ll need a cup of heavy cream and a tablespoon of unflavored yogurt.
Start by putting the cream into a glass or ceramic bowl and then adding in your yogurt. Whisk them together until they mix completely.
Then, cover the bowl but don’t make it airtight. You can use a cloth or coffee filter, so long as whatever you cover with allow some oxygen in. Leave it there for 8 to 24 hours at room temperature without disturbing it. You can check it at 8 hours to see if it is thickening. If it has become as thick as gelatin, you can refrigerate it at that point for about two hours before it’s ready to use.
What Does Creme Fraiche Taste Like?
This cream has a slightly sour taste, but it’s also rich in dairy flavor. It’s very similar to sour cream, and even the texture is almost identical. However, it’s a little tangier and has a fresher taste to it.
What Is Creme Fraiche Used for?
What are the best methods for how to use creme fraiche is simply as a garnish, on top of fruit dishes, pie, cake, or an omelet. It works really well on top of sweet dishes, giving them a tangy taste to accompany the sweetness.
It can be mixed into all sorts of dishes to make them more flavorful and richer, including soups, sauces, and a variety of creams. Crème fraiche can thicken them and give them a lovely dairy flavor.
Some of the substitutes will share with you can work the same way, but you have to be careful about the consistency and texture if you want to use them similarly to how you would crème fraiche. Not all of them can be used at a one-to-one ratio.