The Easiest Crème Fraîche Recipe

This is the easiest crème fraîche recipe imaginable. Authentic French crème fraîche. Made by adding a starter culture to cream, and then controlling the temperature while it cultures.


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In Paris, we noticed some pastry chefs were using crème fraîche in desserts to add an extra depth of flavor.

Crème fraîche is like a French version of sour cream, but it is made with a different culture and is milder than sour cream. Also, it is made completely from cream, where most sour cream is actually part milk and part cream with additives to create the texture and keep it stable. Because crème fraîche is made from cream, it can be whipped to a soft peak and served in desserts and it will hold it’s shape. It can also be added to hot dishes, like pasta or a soup, without curdling.

Since it is a cultured product, it can be used when making ice cream to help keep ice from forming, but without making the ice cream too sour. We use it in all our ice cream recipes, and it makes our recipe for French Vanilla Ice Cream taste like the decadent ice cream we had in Paris.

FRENCH VANILLA ICE CREAM
This French vanilla ice cream recipe makes the most incredible ice cream we have ever had. Better than anything we had found in Paris.
Check out this recipe
French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Unfortunately, authentic crème fraîche can be expensive and hard to find. So, we decided to make it at home. This allowed us to choose exactly what was in it, make it using an authentic culture and also cut the cost.

It turned out to be really easy. It is made by adding a starter culture to cream, and then controlling the temperature while it cultures.

Ingredients for creme fraiche
Ingredients for creme fraiche

INGREDIENTS

We use high quality Horizon cream, because we think it tastes better, but also because it is organic and the company is working to fight climate change.

The culture is a real crème fraîche starter culture from Cultures for Health. It comes in powdered form in tiny packets and stores conveniently for months in the refrigerator. The crème fraîche can be made when you need it instead of having to buy it and store it just in case you might need it. It can also be hard to find in grocery stores, so being able to make it is actually convenient.

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Making creme fraiche in an Instant Pot
Making creme fraiche in an Instant Pot

How To Make Crème Fraîche in an Instant Pot

We make the crème fraîche in an Instant Pot, because it can hold the temperature for hours, which makes culturing easy.

Because this is a cultured product, it is important that everything is clean. Start with cream that is not near its expiration date. Remove the sealing ring on the Instant Pot lid and thoroughly wash the inner pot, the lid and the ring with very hot water.

The cream is first heated to 145 degrees F. This causes the proteins to tighten and will produce a thicker crème fraîche. The temperature is then allowed to drop to 77 degrees F before the starter culture is added. Then the mixture is kept at 90 degrees F for 16 hours while it thickens.

It is made from a mesophilic culture, which translates to “medium-loving”, indicating that it thrives at medium temperatures and is destroyed at a higher temperature. The culture thrives at temperatures between 74 and 77 degrees F, and is destroyed at 113 degrees F. The Instant Pot Ultra has a yogurt setting that can be adjusted to low, where it will maintain a constant temperature of 90 degrees. This makes culturing crème fraîche very easy.


Crème Fraîche

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Culturing time: 16 hours
Total Time: 16 hours 50 minutes
Cuisine: French
Keyword: creme fraiche
Servings: 64
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Lisa LeCoump
This is the easiest crème fraîche recipe imaginable. Authentic French crème fraîche. Made by adding a starter culture to cream, and then controlling the temperature while it cultures. 

Equipment

CHOOSING BRANDS:

For certain products, the choice of brand will make a big difference in the outcome of the recipe and in your carbon footprint. So, for those products, we have listed the brand. We are not paid to mention a brand and have no affiliates.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Remove the sealing ring and thoroughly wash the inner pot, the lid and the ring with very hot water. This is a cultured product so it is important that everything is clean.
  • Add 1-4 quarts of cream to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. The valve can be in either the sealed or unsealed position. Select the "yogurt" setting and change the time to 45 minutes and the temperature to 145 degrees F. This step will result in a thicker cream. 
  • After 45 minures at 145 degrees F, remove the inner pot and allow the temperature to drop. 
  • When the temperature of the cream has dropped to 77 degrees F, add the starter culture and whisk it in for a few seconds.
  • Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock. The valve can be in either the sealed or unsealed position. Select the "yogurt" setting and adjust it to "low". It will show a temperature of 90 degrees F. Adjust the time to 16 hours and start.
  • After 16 hours the crème fraîche should be fairly thick. Transfer it to a glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 2-3 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 217IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.01mg

WHY THIS RECIPE IS SUSTAINABLE:

Check out the chart below to see how food choices affect climate change.

By Hannah Ritchie - https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=114706754

By Hannah Ritchie – https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local, CC BY-SA 4.0

https://tonyfitzgeraldphotography.com/2020/10/11/how-to-make-creme-fraiche/
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Nutrition Facts
Crème Fraîche
Amount per Serving
Calories
50
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
17
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
14
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
0.4
g
0
%
Sugar
 
0.4
g
0
%
Protein
 
0.4
g
1
%
Vitamin A
 
217
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
10
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.01
mg
0
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More details are available on the Cultures for Health website where you can get the starter culture.


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