With Thanksgiving looming over all our heads and dinner in obscure destinations in most of our futures, (well, Scranton, PA and Wasilla, AK were a little more obscure before the election) it’s time to figure out where we’ll get our crème fraiche. While this French equivalent for sour cream may not be on the top of your list of turkey accoutrements, it should be. Mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, crudités (I don't think anyone needs a recipe for chopped vegetables) and spicy pumpkin pie all taste better with a dollop of cream fraiche.
The problem arises after you’ve fought beltway traffic and arrived in one of those obscure places on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, and you’re peering into your grandmother’s refrigerator or local grocer’s freezer – you probably will not find crème fraiche. And if you do, it will cost you. Crème fraiche is significantly more expensive than sour cream or whipped cream.
It’s also very easy to make!
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Mix together buttermilk and cream in a jar. Shake the jar gently until the ingredients are well blended, then remove the lid. Let this mixture sit at room temperature until it has thickened significantly- you’re looking for a texture similar to sour cream. This will take at least 6 hours. You can stir the mixture once or twice to check the consistency.
When the mixture has thickened, refrigerate it until served- at least 12 hours.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand (or grandma lives somewhere so obscure that they don’t even have buttermilk) you can substitute with sour cream.
Tip: To speed up the process, use room temperature buttermilk and whipping cream.