Homemade Crème Fraîche
Once you’ve made your first jar of crème fraîche you may find yourself in an existential crisis of sorts: How did you not know this was possible? How have you lived without it all these years?
You may also find yourself sneaking into the kitchen for a spoonful and dolloping it on everything from tacos (it’s like sour cream, but better) to eggs to soup to apple crisp. I'll be the first to admit that I keep a jar in my fridge at all times.
Anyone can make this: Add a bit of cultured buttermilk to fresh cream and let it sit out at room temperature until the cream thickens from the lactic acid in the buttermilk. That's it. The result: thick and delicious crème fraîche that is better (and far less expensive) than anything you can buy in your fancy gourmet market.
Note: I like my crème fraîche best when made with cream that is not ultra-pasturized, but it can be challenging to find. If possible, buy cream from a local dairy that does not ultra-pasturize its products. If you do use ultra-pasturized cream, don't worry. It will still be irresistable.
Put the buttermilk and the cream in a glass jar. Mix, cover and set out at room temperature for about 8 hours or until the cream is thick. (It should be somewhat thicker than sour cream.) The cream will ferment more quickly in a warmer ambient temperature and more slowly in a cool house. Store your crème fraîche in the fridge.