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Creme fraiche


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27 replies to this topic

#1 jaybee

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 05:40 AM

I could not get my favorite French brand of the stuff over New Years so I tried this one with very good results. It has the right amount of tang and richness and very good consistency for cooking or eating with caviar or dessert. Previously I tried their butter, which comes in chubs. I think it is the best tasting US butter. I don't know how wide their distribution is. Fairway in NYC carries their line.

Vermont Butter & Cheese Co.

#2 helenas

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 07:40 AM

when i can't find creme fraiche d'Isigny ( which is pretty much always), i also use the brand that jaybee mentioned. French product is creamier and has less tang probably due to the higher fat content.
All the gourmet stores in my part of NJ carry the Vermont creme fraiche, as well as their mascarpone and fromage blanc.

#3 Steve Klc

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 08:59 AM

I'm a fan of this company as well Jaybee. It is widely distributed, Whole Foods Markets in particular, and many pros use their products as well because they are available in larger sizes as well as the little retail containers. Unfortunately for me, the one product of theirs I rely on more than anything else is the 0% fromage blanc which Helena mentioned--which is indispensable to making a fantastic olive oil ice cream. It only comes in the small 8 oz size.

Butter can be had in log form as well as wrapped in foil. And do try their marscapone--it's impeccable. It's funny but this company made their name initially with goat cheese yet it is all the other products I find myself using.
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#4 guajolote

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 09:45 AM

A great (and cheap) substitute for creme fraiche is Mexican crema, which cost about 3 bucks for 12 ounces. You can find it in most latino markets. It has a similar consistency and tang as creme fraiche.


#5 Belmont3

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 09:48 AM

What?! Does nobody make their own anymore. I enjoy making my own and having ready to go when ever I need it

#6 malarkey

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 09:51 AM

I've been making my own creme fraiche. 2 tbsps of buttermilk in a cup of heavy cream, let it sit for ~24 hours at room temperture. The longer you let it sit the more tang it develops. stir it up and put it in the fridge. yum!

unfortunately, we don't get the d'Isigny. We do get their butter though which is outrageously good.

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#7 iriee

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 10:25 AM

:shock: i agree! make your own! its real easy! cup of buttermilk to a quart of heavy cream. room temp 24-48 hours or until thick! yummmmm! :wink:

#8 helenas

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 10:29 AM

now, if somebody could teach me how to make a greek yogurt (the same as Total) at home...

#9 Suzanne F

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 10:52 AM

now, if somebody could teach me how to make a greek yogurt (the same as Total) at home...

You might have to import Greek animals and feed. :sad: Isn't Total just THE BEST??? :wub:

#10 malarkey

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 10:58 AM

hmm I wonder if we are getting Total here yet... hmm. This just might inspire me to make a greek dinner.

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#11 laura

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 11:00 AM

there is also a creme fraiche from California, I can't
remember the name that is pretty good, not as good
as the french, and certainly not as good as the creme
fraiche sold in french cremeries or fromageries that is
sold to you from big bowls, and then ladled out into
small containers. that"s the best!

#12 La Niña

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 01:40 PM

We used creme fraiche d'Isigny which I bought at Zabar's. It was delicious. I'm familiar with the Vermont company jaybee used too - and I've had their butter as well - very good stuff. Never tried their mascarpone - but that's a good tip. I'll keep an eye out for it.

#13 Steve Klc

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 02:29 PM

Total brand yogurt is in the US--it's available through foodservice channels out of NYC and retail I see it in stores like Dean & Deluca. We get it trucked down to DC. I use it in a panna cotta mixed with some cream and love it as well. You could also hang and drain other yogurts to get the consistency, if not the flavor, of Total.

To approach the flavor. you can mix about 1 part Lebne to 5 parts regular "pretty good" American yogurt and let it sit at room temperature for awhile--taste--and add a little more Lebne or lemon juice if necessary.

Also, there is a wonderful family making a true Greek-style goat's milk yogurt in Ontario--Skotidakis--which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have their yogurt trucked down to DC as well. It is much more readily available in NYC and North. Here's the link:

http://www.skotidakis.com/yogurt.htm

In some ways and in some applications you will find this superior to Total. I use it in a mousse in a walnut, honey, caramel dessert. It is not too sour because it is blended with some cow's milk.
Steve Klc

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#14 stefanyb

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 03:56 PM

Total is good but I would maintain that Coach Farms Goat Yogurt has more flavor. Sometimes its a little watery but that can always be remedied by hanging.

#15 malarkey

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 05:45 PM

To approach the flavor. you can mix about 1 part Lebne to 5 parts regular "pretty good" American yogurt and let it sit at room temperature for awhile--taste--and add a little more Lebne or lemon juice if necessary.

what's lebne?

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#16 helenas

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 06:17 PM

Can you believe this: There is no entry for Labneh in Larousse Gastronomique :hmmm:
Labneh is something that in Middle East they eat with olive oil, zaatar and pita :wub:
Seriously though, here is the definition:
Lebneh: (Alternate spellings: lebne, labne, labneh): Home-made yogurt cheese common in the Middle East.

#17 nightscotsman

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 06:37 PM

Since store-bought, ready-made creme fraiche is so much more expensive than making it myself I've never purchased it. Could somebody who has had both homemade as well as the Vermont Butter & Cheese brand please tell us how they differ in taste and texture? Is Vermont Butter & Cheese really better?

#18 Kim WB

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 12:59 PM

How do you use fromage blanc?

#19 Steve Klc

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 01:36 PM

Is that for me Kim? The specific reason I use this particular Vermont Butter & Cheese product is because their fromage blanc is 0% fat. It gives a slight tang, body, texture and balance to an olive oil ice cream--but since olive oil is fat you risk an "overfat" mixture if you used dairy with a typical fat percentage.

It's delicious enough to eat plain though--mix and mold into little forms or use in a cheesecake or scoop quenelles of the stuff onto little dishes of fruit salad. Here's the link to VB&C with a few ideas:

http://www.vtbuttera...duct/blanc.html

This is informative:

http://www.hertzmann...s/2001/fromage/

And there is also a nice summary of all this tang, cream and fresh cheese business, thickened, fermented, strained or otherwise, here:

http://www.ochef.com/100.htm
Steve Klc

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#20 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 01:41 PM

We use the Vermont creme fraiche all of the time and think it's a great product. As for yogurts, I still think that the Chatham Sheepherding Goat's Milk Yogurt is a great product. Creamy and with a little tang to it.

#21 Steve Klc

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 01:44 PM

Yes Steve, for a sheep's milk yogurt Old Chatham Sheepherding is excellent--but I haven't had their goat's milk--do you know if it is 100%?
Steve Klc

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#22 Steve Plotnicki

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 01:49 PM

Opps, sorry Steve, I mean sheep's milk. I don't think they make a goats' milk yogurt. That's Coah Farms.

#23 Kim WB

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 02:54 PM

Is that for me Kim?

Yes, thanks...sometimes one can get so wrapped up in the content of the thread, they treat it like a face to face conversation! :smile:

So, Fromage Blanc is closest to cream cheese, but with a lot less fat. I bought some today, will look forward to experimenting.

#24 Jim Dixon

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Posted 07 January 2003 - 05:44 PM

creme fraiche is always in the top 10 search terms that bring visitors to my site...

I don't even know if you can buy it anywhere here in Portland, so I've always made my own. Instead of buttermilk, I use Nancy's Yogurt, which has live acidophilus and other cultures (and still comes in the Kesey-era conatiners decorated with hippy art). Here's my 'recipe'

to a pint (or half pint) of cream (and Horizon Organic is the highest butterfat cream out here), add a couple of healthy tablespoons of yogurt (I use nonfat because that's what we eat)...stir, cover, and leave out in warm spot (I set mine on the stove over the pilot so it stays warm) until thick, 1-2 days.

Jim
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Real Good Food

#25 helenas

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 09:53 AM

On fromage blanc:
we had a Cypress Grove goat fromage blanc for breakfast today: great flavor and texture. Kind of savory, so we ate it sprinkled with olive oil and black pepper.
I wish i had some zaatar!

#26 KarenS

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 01:08 AM

I have almost never purchased creme fraiche ( and I have been cooking since 1983, a Pastry Chef since 1993). I stir together (36% butterfat cream, and NOT ultraprocessed), 1 cup to half a T buttermilk. Leave it out overnight, (a very clean and fresh smelling container that is well covered). In SF it took almost the same amount of time (there I was producing for a hotel plus three restaurants). You will have creme fraiche by the next day (you can tell, the mixture will thicken and look like yogurt). Remember to refrigerate it after that. You can whip it when it is cold. I love creme fraiche.

#27 Aquitaine

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 11:28 AM

Homemade creme fraiche: OK, so what's with the huge variation in the ratio of buttermilk to heavy cream? Do both proportions (2 T, vs. 1 cup, buttermilk to 1 cup cream) "work" -- and then you simply get a version that is more or less tangy?

How long is OK to let the work-in-progress sit outside the refrigerator before it gathers bad bacteria or otherwise turns into something you don't want to eat? (as in "longer it sits, tangier it gets) ??

:huh:

#28 Jim Dixon

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 11:51 AM

Aquitaine,

I use yogurt mostly, but never really measure. Just a good sized scoop of yogurt (I use Nancy's...you want something with live culture), maybe 2 T, and a half-pint of cream.

I set mine on the top of my old gas stove so the pilot keeps it warm. I've left it there for more than 24 hours with no apparent ill effects.

My most recent batch sat for a good day. It got quite thick, almost spreadable.

Jim
olive oil + salt
Real Good Food