Two ingredients and a super-easy process is all it takes to make this delectable topping
Silky, tangy crème fraîche is often expensive in stores, if it’s stocked at all. Luckily, making your own couldn’t be easier, and it’s about half the price. All you need to make crème fraîche at home is heavy cream and a touch of buttermilk. Combine the two in a jar or bowl and let it stand covered for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature to thicken. If the cream isn’t thickening, move it to a slightly warmer place. While it sits, the buttermilk will culture the cream and give it a slightly sour taste.
Why not just use sour cream? Unlike sour cream, which can curdle when added to hot soups or sauces, crème fraîche can be cooked or stirred into a hot dish without worry. It’s a great way to add richness and flavor to any dish, including Rustic Pear Tarts, Pea Pod Soup with Lemon Crème Fraîche, deviled eggs, and Kabocha Squash Crème Fraîche Pie. Sour cream also has a lower fat content and is thinner than crème fraîche, which means you can use less crème fraîche to get the same texture.
Since it is not nearly as tangy as sour cream, crème fraîche is more versatile. It makes a great base for a herb sauce or dip, and it can meld perfectly into a creamed soup or a simple cake. Lightly sweeten it to create a velvety dip for berries or a luscious dessert topping. Stir your homemade crème fraîche before using and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.