Crème fraiche is an underestimated ingredient in the layman’s pantry. It’s an excellent sauce thickener since it won’t curdle in a hot environment, tastes delicious when whipped and sweetened as a desert topping, and can add a nice sweet creamy tang like an extremely mild and subtle sour cream when used by itself.
In Mexico, the cream used to cut spice and add texture is more close to crème fraiche than it is to the sour cream that we tend to use here in the states. But it can be so damn hard to find.
Lucky for me it’s easy as hell to make, just add a
few couple1 of tablespoons of cultured buttermilk to a cup of heavy whipping cream and let it sit, covered, at room temperature for around 12-24 hours. The acidic pH of the buttermilk prevents the bacteria that cause normal dairy products to spoil from making the liquid rancid, and the cultures in the buttermilk will act on the cream, giving it the desired texture and flavor. Stir, and refrigerate to end the action of the cultures.
And, if you please, making Sour Cream is almost the exact same process. Just let it sit for around two days at room temperature.
Refrigeration stops the thickening process, and you have delicious homemade cream treats.
As you can see from my countertop, this is also the start of my foray in to home canning. I’m starting small, with 8 oz. jars, so I can make things like syrups for my SodaStream or condiments like these cremes and maybe soon some ketchup and mustard and jams and preserves. Then eventually I’ll move up in to pint jars for pickling and other mixtures. And from there hopefully in to quart jars for larger pickles and things like stocks and broths.