Creme Fraiche – Add Velvety Goodness to Your Favorite Recipes
If you spend anytime looking through French recipes you are bound to come across creme fraiche as an ingredient sooner or later. The French are crazy for this dairy creme mousseline
product that is somewhat similar to sour cream but differs in important ways.
What is Creme Fraiche?
Some people understandably think that creme fraiche means fresh cream, but it is actually rather the opposite. If you allow unpasteurized cream to sit out at room temperature it will eventually ferment, growing sour tasting and solidifying. This is in essence what creme fraiche is, although the industrialized production is of course somewhat more complicated and controlled.
You may have heard that it is similar to sour cream, but creme fraiche differs from sour cream in both taste and texture. It has a nutty, less sour taste and a more velvety texture that lingers in the mouth for several seconds. It is an ideal ingredient to cook with because it resists curdling even when heated.
How to Use Creme Fraiche
You can substitute creme fraiche in most any recipe where whipping cream or sour cream is called for. Here are just a few examples:
Enjoy it as it is. By the spoonful, with perhaps a sprinkle of sugar. A high calorie but delicious treat. (Creme fraiche contains about 55 calories per tablespoon, but please don’t let that stop you!)
Stir a spoonful into your yogurt to add extra richness and taste.
Use it in your ice cream recipes as a replacement for part of the cream. Creme fraiche would go especially well with fruit flavored ice creams.
Stir it into soups, sauces, or purees. It can add velvety richness to just about any dish, sweet or savory.
Go classic by pairing it with smoked salmon or caviar on small toasts or blinis.
Sweeten it with sugar or honey and use it as a topping for your favorite dessert. Its slightly tart flavor will add a new dimension to any dessert you have been topping with whipped cream.
Try using it instead of sour cream in any of your baked goods recipes.
Use it as you would sour cream to make dips or as a topping for bak