The Easiest Creme Fraiche Recipe

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


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Creme fraiche is like a French version of sour cream, only much milder. We use it frequently when making ice cream, but also in a number of other ways. Authentic creme fraiche can be expensive and hard to find. So, we decided to make it at home so that we could choose exactly what was in it, 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 creme fraiche starter culture from Cultures for Health. It comes in powdered form in tiny packets and stores conveniently for months in the refrigerator. The creme fraiche 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 CREME FRAICHE IN AN INSTANT POT

We make the creme fraiche 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 sour cream. 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 creme fraiche very easy.

CREME FRAICHE

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Culturing time: 16 hours
Total Time: 16 hours 50 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: creme fraiche
Calories: 3230kcal
Author: Lisa LeCoump

Equipment

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 creme fraiche 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

Serving: 32g | Calories: 3230kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 343g | Saturated Fat: 219g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 86g | Cholesterol: 1074mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 903mg | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 13965IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 627mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
CREME FRAICHE
Serving Size
 
32 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
3230
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
343
g
528
%
Saturated Fat
 
219
g
1369
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
15
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
86
g
Cholesterol
 
1074
mg
358
%
Sodium
 
257
mg
11
%
Potassium
 
903
mg
26
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Sugar
 
28
g
31
%
Protein
 
27
g
54
%
Vitamin A
 
13965
IU
279
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
627
mg
63
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* 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.


This is one of the things we discovered while traveling and recreated when we got back home. We researched the science and techniques behind the recipe and used tips from exceptional chefs. Then we used the best ingredients we could find to create this recipe. For more ideas, see our other posts about recipes inspired by travel.

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