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freezing creme fraiche


foodie3
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What happens when you freeze cream, or sour cream for that matter? I don't like to do it, but I think I've frozen heavy cream. I know I've frozen milk and butter. I should imagine you'd likely kill any living organisms that gave the creme fraiche its character, but that shouldn't totally ruin its use. I can't recommend what you want to do as good practice, but I really don't know and wonder if it woundn't be worth just making a cup of creme fraiche and freezing it for a few weeks as an experiment. In any event, I'd add that I haven't found "creme fraiche" made by culturing pasturized heavy cream with sour cream or buttermilk to be quite the same thing as real creme fraiche in France. Which is also not to say it's not worth doing or that the product isn't useful to me. We do it.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I know this is a "no-no" but I make creme fraiche and keep it around for months in the refrigirator. It seems to be fine. After all, it is spoiled cream and if you keep other ogranisms out of it why would it go bad.

Someone plase straighten me out.

dave

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I think it might curdle, which will destroy its eating quality (try some), but the organisms will still be alive. I know people freeze cultured milk products to use as starter for their next batch.

I believe it's the acidity in sour cream that makes it keep so long, but it eventually does grow mold.

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Apparently milk, butter and yogurt freeze just fine, but most experts agree that heavy cream and sour cream do not freeze well. The University of Minnesota Extension Service seems to be one source that disagrees, at least to some extent.

Freeze whipped cream for one month in dollops or mounds.  Freeze firm on a cookie sheet, then place in a freezer container.  Make one layer, cover with waxed paper, and place second layer on top.  Seal in airtight wrap and store in freezer.  Place on top of dessert 10 minutes before serving. 

Freeze and store milk one month.  Allow room for expansion in the freezer container.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Freezing affects flavor and appearance, but milk, buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt are all right for baking.

At least this implies some hope for using the creme fraiche in recipes and sauces. It may depend on the intended use after thawing.

I don't know why, or if, creme fraiche would go bad. I guess the trick would be to keep other organisms out of the jar. I think I've seen sour cream develop mold.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I once froze heavy cream and when I defrosted it, I found that it separated sort of like butter does when you melt it. I figured it would be fine to use in the chocolate turtle pie I was making because I was going to be mixing it up with other fats (egg yolks, chocolate). So it turned out fine, and nobody ever knew.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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This might be a dumb question, but exactly what is creme fraiche? Is it just whipped cream? The only cream I ever see at the store is the small cartons of whipping cream, which, I guess is the same as 'heavy cream? Thanks.

Frank in Austin

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Frank, you start with a base of whipping or heavy cream and slightly sour and thicken it, either using buttermilk (then let stand at room temp for several hours), or sour cream. Some people add vanilla and/or sugar. I detest sour cream itself, but I really like creme fraiche on fruit.

"Portion control" implies you are actually going to have portions! ~ Susan G
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Traditional creme fraiche is just raw cream that has matured and thickened on its own from the natural lactic cultures.

When commercially produced, creme fraiche is pasteurized cream inoculated with specific live lactic cultures.

The creme you make at home is a decent substitute but not really the same as the cultures found in buttermilk usually aren't the same as the cultures found in either naturally occuring or commercially produced creme fraiche.

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Just so you all know, I froze up some buttermilk and when I defrosted it, it sort of curdled a bit. It wasn't all that bad, I still used it in my oatmeal and in my pancakes and nobody could have told the difference. But to anyone who plans on drinking it, it doesn't look all that appetizing.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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