Crème Fraîche Facts
- To make crème fraîche, cream is pasteurized and then seeded with a starter culture, much the way yogurt and cheese are made. The cream is then left until slightly soured and thick.
- Crème fraîche is less acidic than buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream, although in general crème fraîche and sour cream are interchangeable in recipes.
- Crème fraîche will have the fat content of the cream used to make it.
Crème Fraîche Storage and Handling
- Store crème fraîche in a refrigerator at 38°–40°F in the container in which it was sold.
- The “sell by” date stamped on crème fraîche containers tells you how long the retail store can keep the product for sale on the shelf. Typically, crème fraîche will keep for up to eight weeks if refrigerated.
- If separation occurs, gently stir the liquid back into the crème fraîche.
- If any mold forms on the surface of the crème fraîche, discard it immediately.
Cookingwith Crème Fraîche
- Crème fraîche is an ideal addition to sauces and soups because it can be boiled and reduced without curdling.
- Blanch vegetables, then sauté with garlic and butter. For a smooth, creamy glaze, stir in some crème fraîche.
- Create your own signature dressings for chicken, turkey, potato and fruit salads and coleslaw by mixing two parts mayonnaise with one part crème fraîche as the base. Then mix in your choice of flavorings and seasonings.
- Sauté sliced mushrooms and finely chopped onion in butter over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned. Reduce heat, stir in crème fraîche and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Use as a hot topping for baked potatoes, chicken breasts or fish fillets.
- Mix golden raisins and banana slices or blueberries into pancake batter. Serve the hot pancakes with crème fraîche mixed with honey and ground cinnamon.
- Toss hot cooked pasta with crème fraîche and butter. Season with lemon juice, black pepper and chopped fresh oregano or basil. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese. French for “fresh cream,” crème fraîche is matured, thickened cream in which lactic acid and naturally occurring bacteria slowly develop a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and a texture that can range from that of sour cream to a room-temperature butter.
- When whipping cream, include crème fraîche for richness and unique flavor; mix in a small amount of sugar and a dash of vanilla. Serve on fresh berry or peach shortcakes.
- Crème fraîche can be whipped by itself and used as a stand-alone topping.
Real-World Tip Finish Fraîche!
Stir crème fraîche into foods like risotto, soups and creamy pasta sauces just before serving to add richness balanced with a mildly tangy flavor.