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Berlinsbreads

Homemade Creme Fraiche

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I am making creme fraiche and I'm wondering if it's the right consistency. I combined a cup of heavy whipping cream and one tsp of buttermilk. I placed the container in a bowl of warm water overnight and today. It is just a little thicker than the whipping cream was before. Is this right? Or is it supposed to be thicker than this?

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It should be thicker than you describe. The crème fraîche I buy is as thick as sour cream and a bit gooier, though the stuff I've made has never quite achieved that consistency. Note, too, that the crème will continue to thicken as it ages in the fridge. I wonder about your proportions, however. Did you really only use a teaspoon of buttermilk for a cup of cream? I've never used less than a tablespoon. Over on the Montreal board, forum host Lesley Chesterman, a pastry chef by training, recently suggested using 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of buttermilk for 500 ml (2.12 cups) of heavy cream and described the result as "thick, silky and nutty" (click here). That faint nutty taste would be another sign that you have the genuine article.

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I also always use 1 Tbs buttermilk per 1 cup heavy cream. I would add some more buttermilk in and let it go for another half day. As carswell mentioned, it does firm up further in the fridge. Final texture is usually close to a soft sour cream texture.

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In addition to using more buttermilk you should try different brands of buttermilk and cream.

I was not having very good luck, even with a 1-8 buttermilk to cream ratio, so I tried some different buttermilks and found one that works very well. It is Bulgarian Buttermilk sold by Berkeley Farms and it makes great creme fraiche.

I use about 1-2 tbsp of bulgarian buttermilk per cup of Berkeley Farms manufacturing cream and I stir it well being sure to avoid stiring up a lot of bubbles. I leave it out at room temperature for 8-12 hours in an impeccably clean glass jar and by then it is quite nicely thickened, like sour cream, but smoother, more rich, and slightly tangy.

I have used different types of cream and have had good results with all of them as long as I used the bulgarian buttermilk.

The reason I avoid stirring in bubbles is so I can tell if the mixture bubbled and/or turned frothy while sitting out... I have been told to throw out the batch if that happens (or if you detect an odor you are not comfortable with, etc.).

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I always use 3 cups heavy cream (no seaweed additives) with 1 cup buttermilk. Put it in a covered Pyrex measuring cup. Let it sit for about 3 days on the counter. When it is thick like sour cream, but kind of silk-ily so, I put it in the fridge. Lasts at least 2 weeks.

doc

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I bring the cream up to 110 degrees before stirring in the buttermilk and I try to get the cream that is NOT ultra pasteurized. If you can find manufacturer's cream, use that as it is natural cream, plain, not ultra pasteurized. It works extremely well.

I also would use more buttermilk and do use a cultured product if possible.

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Buttermilk is never available in the Philippines, so I used a quarter cup of sour cream in a cup of cream. Would that work? It's been out 6 hours in our 33C weather and smells just like sour cream. It separates from the sides of the container cleanly, though, which is great.

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I've made it with yogurt-so what would that be called?

Would it still be considered Creme Fraiche?

Jennifer

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Berl,

Just to expand on the recommendation above, I think the specific Buttermilk and cream are very important and the determination is easy.

INGREDIENTS:

1. Heavy Cream should contain CREAM. Only cream. Only cream. Only cream.

2. Buttermilk should contain CULTURED CREAM. Only cultured cream. Only cultured cream.

Those simple limitations will allow you to make a wonderful cream fraiche.

Tim

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Unless you're using a creme fraiche culture, isn't what you're producing actually mock creme fraiche using the more easily obtainable buttermilk culture? Judy Rodgers mentions this in her Zuni cookbook, but I've never heard this discussed elsewhere. My efforts using buttermilk and cream have not been as good as what I've purchased, texture and flavor-wise. The New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. has a creme fraiche culture. They also carry a buttermilk culture, though, that seems very similar in "ingredients".

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I use yogurt, specifically Nancy's from Oregon, but anything with live culture should work.

It's a stretch to call it a recipe, but my approach is on my web site here.

And it gets thick, too thick to pour, but you've got to let the culture work long enough.

Jim

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The reason I used yogurt was my local dairy puts out buttermilk that is the noncultured kind. So there would have been nothing to grow. Their heavy cream is also so thick it can be sliced when it is cold.

I believe this is because the milk is pasteurized. The buttermilk nowadays has cultures added.

I think mukki is right that these things contain different cultures.

But if the end result is something you like what difference does it make how you got there?

Jennifer

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Last night, as I was cleaning out the fridge (there were things in there that were old enough to vote), I discovered the heavy cream was about to hit its expiration date, so I decided to make up some creme fraiche. I usually use yogurt, instead of buttermilk, but I discovered the only yogurt I had was strawberry, so I used sour cream instead. Left the container sitting on the counter with a lid on it, as I had been invaded by gnats and didn't want to add protein to the mix.

In short -- I forgot it until this morning. Took off the lid and sniffed; smelled fine. But it was thin. Until I stirred it, at which point it began to thicken up remarkably. Never got quite as thick as what I make with yogurt, but certainly thick enough to make a nice sauce. I sweetened it and just ate an entire 12-ounce carton of blackberries drizzled with it, in two helpings. :wub:

Two questions: Is it still creme fraiche if you use yogurt or sour cream, instead of buttermilk, as your culture? And why did my batch wait to thicken until I took off the lid and stirred it?

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I too discovered this the first (only) time I made it with sour cream. When I make it with buttermilk it never quite gets to the right consistency as store bought but always has a wonderful nutty sourness.

I actually prefer the one I made with sour cream as it wasn't quite as sour and yet was thick and rich. I don't really have an answer to your question just confirming your observation. There are many though who would say that unless you used a creme fraiche culture you aren't ending up with creme fraiche anyway...but honestly if it tastes good (and apparently the blackberries you just ate would definitely say (if they could talk) that they were tasty...:)

I prefer it because it is less sour and thicker like store bought. If it tastes good do it.

As far as it thickening later, I had the same thing. There's no science behind this (at all...) but when I make it with butter milk it stayes relatively the same consistency throughout with a thick cream at the top...with the sour cream it seemed to be the opposite...maybe the culture works differently. Probably bull crap but who knows.

Isn't life wonderful...blackberries and creme fraiche..mmmmmmmmmmmmm(drool)

Also...it likes your post just got merged with some others or something so maybe someone above already answered this question.


Edited by G-rat (log)

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Hello,

I've seen recipes that call for heating the heavy cream first. I have heavy cream and sour cream.

Any advice for those of you who have used sour cream as the starter agent?

Grace

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Take 1 C. of heavy cream, stir in 2 T. buttermilk, (we use a jar) leave it out overnight. Stir again in the morning. Try not to eat the entire thing on your finger the next day. Put into the frig. It does continue to get thicker, if, it lasts that long.

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At Cyrus, the recipe was 3:1 cream to buttermilk, left out for 36-48 hours, then refrigerated. In the colder months, we would bring the mixture up to 98 degrees before putting it into pint containers. Always perfect.


Edited by KCWilkinson (log)

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I found some lovely figs so I'm trying my hand for the first time at crème fraiche.  I saw the recommendation for New England Cheese Making Supply up thread but their culture is on "Final Sale, while supplies last."  Real buttermilk is not available in these parts either, so I am using the same culture I use for yogurt:

 

https://www.yogurtathome.com/product-page/yogurt-starter-for-bio-yogurt

 

I know the bacteria are probably not the same and that crème fraiche is properly cultured at room temperature.  I've worked out a very satisfactory method for yogurt that involves cooking the milk and cream at 70C for half an hour, cooling to 45C or so and inoculating.  Then after homogenization* holding the mix at 45C for two hours then slowly cooling to 30C overnight.

 

This is how my crème fraiche is cooking at the moment.  It may end up more like sour cream but such is life, I like sour cream as well.

 

I'd be interested in any information on how crème fraiche cultures differ from yogurt cultures, beyond just the names of the bacteria.

 

 

*in this case my cream is neither ultra pasteurized nor homogenized, which means a knife to pry it from the bottle.

 

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When I've made cultured butter - I've just added a pinch of the culture to some heavy cream and let it sit out on the counter until it's nice and tangy. I think this is creme fraiche if I'm not mistaken. This will then get chilled before either beating it into butter or running it through the centrifuge. 

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2 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

When I've made cultured butter - I've just added a pinch of the culture to some heavy cream and let it sit out on the counter until it's nice and tangy. I think this is creme fraiche if I'm not mistaken. This will then get chilled before either beating it into butter or running it through the centrifuge. 

 

Which culture do you use?  I thought a salient feature of crème fraiche was that it was not too tangy?

 

(I knew I'd eventually find a need for a centrifuge.)

 

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6 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Which culture do you use?  I thought a salient feature of crème fraiche was that it was not too tangy?

 

(I knew I'd eventually find a need for a centrifuge.)

 

Mesophilic type B I believe. There is a guy leaving the country and looking to sell his centrifuge.

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19 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I found some lovely figs so I'm trying my hand for the first time at crème fraiche.  I saw the recommendation for New England Cheese Making Supply up thread but their culture is on "Final Sale, while supplies last."  Real buttermilk is not available in these parts either, so I am using the same culture I use for yogurt:

When you say "real buttermilk", what are you referring to? In my parts, we get cultured buttermilk. That's what I use to combine with cream to make my crème fraîche, and it's always worked beautifully for me.

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11 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

When you say "real buttermilk", what are you referring to? In my parts, we get cultured buttermilk. That's what I use to combine with cream to make my crème fraîche, and it's always worked beautifully for me.

 

Ditto here

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6 hours ago, MelissaH said:

When you say "real buttermilk", what are you referring to? In my parts, we get cultured buttermilk. That's what I use to combine with cream to make my crème fraîche, and it's always worked beautifully for me.

 

By real buttermilk I mean what's sometimes called traditional butter milk.  The "buttermilk" in the stores here is made by adding microbial cultures to skim milk.  I believe this product used to be known as imitation buttermilk.

 

Anyhow, I haven't tasted it yet but my crème fraiche came out nice and thick.

 

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17 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

By real buttermilk I mean what's sometimes called traditional butter milk.  The "buttermilk" in the stores here is made by adding microbial cultures to skim milk.  I believe this product used to be known as imitation buttermilk.

 

Anyhow, I haven't tasted it yet but my crème fraiche came out nice and thick.

 

Well, traditionally, butter would have been made with cultured cream, so the buttermilk left after churning would have had microbes. But with pasteurized dairy products, including the cream used to make American butter anymore, you need to add your own microbes. For my uses, the buttermilk culture has worked fine, giving me a nice thick product with good flavor that lasts plenty long enough in my fridge. If you're happy with whatever culture you're using, wonderful!

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