homemade creme fraiche

Posted on June 27, 2011

Cream, butter, cheese … oh, how I love them all. Today, let’s talk about creme fraiche, or french mature cream as Julia Child describes it. Creme fraiche is extremely versatile because it doesn’t separate when heated and it has a mild flavor that is still more distinct than heavy cream. Here at Chez Jojonoodle we use it quite often, but creme fraiche can’t always be found and is often expensive because it’s considered a specialty product. Thankfully, Julia Child noticed a similar phenomenon back in the 50s and included a recipe in her cookbook for making creme fraiche at home.  I decided it was time to plunge in.

Now, I’m about to tell you to do the most un-American of things, but stay with me. (After all, Julia Child told me to do it). First, heat some cream to a perfect bacteria-multiplying temperature of 85 degrees. And then let that sit out overnight at room temperature.

Homemade Creme Fraiche, from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 cup heavy cream
1 t buttermilk

In a small saucepan, heat the cream and buttermilk to just under 85 degrees. Pour into a jar and loosely cover. Let sit out at room temperature (75 – 65 degrees) overnight, until thickened. Cover and refrigerate. Use on anything … from soups to crostini,  pizza to desserts. Strawberries and creme fraiche anyone?!?


Just try it … you won’t regret having this stuff on hand (even if it freaks you out to leave dairy at room temperature)!

-Emily