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lovely crème fraîche

Weekly Tip #9

According to the “source of all knowledge” – Wikipedia – “Crème fraîche originates from Normandy in France, where the crème fraîche from a defined area around the town of Isigny-sur-Mer in the Calvados department of Normandy is highly regarded, and is the only cream to have AOC (‘Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée’) status, which was awarded in 1986.”

Crème fraîche is a matured thickened cream with a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and a velvety rich texture, thicker and richer than sour cream. Crème fraîche is particularly useful in finishing sauces in French cooking because it does not curdle.

Although you can find it at Trader Joe’s and many other grocery stores today, that was not the case only a few short years ago. What’s a French loving person to do?  Make your own, of course! And I often still choose to do so.  It is easy and less expensive, and with the holidays on the doorstep, I am sure to be using plenty of it.  And what a wonderful hostess gift to give to a cook! I love the packaging in that top photo… I just may have to do this!  GO HERE to order the labels and HERE for the tags, if you would like.

Homemade Crème Fraîche

1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons buttermilk OR 1/2 cup *sour cream, room temperature

Combine the heavy cream and buttermilk (or sour cream) in a medium to large jar; tightly screw on the lid and shake well to combine.

Set aside at room temperature for 24 hours. Once thickened, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.  Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 cup

* Sour cream based crème fraîche is slightly less tangy than buttermilk based crème fraîche.

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