Crème fraîche is one of those things, like simple syrup, that always astonishes me with its price at the store. The components are affordable and the process of making it is straightforward, and yet somehow a tiny container of it is $7.99 or more.
If your refrigerator looks anything like mine after Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to make it, too. Let me set the stage: we needed a couple quarts of cream for our Thanksgiving dinner. The first quart was obtained easily, but trying to buy the second quart a day later was a disaster: insane mobs at the grocery store, empty dairy shelves…
My friend, who was looking for it, shot me a text saying she had called back through the empty shelves, to where the employees work as they’re restocking, to ask whether there was any cream in the back. The guy working in the back amazingly found and brought out two quarts. They then restocked the shelves with the pint-sized cartons, and, knowing how prized and elusive cream was at the moment, she snapped up several of those as well.
The result: a refrigerator full of cream even after we squeezed as much as possible into our mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin with leeks and truffle, whipped cream, and cachaça-flamed crème brûlée.
So here we are with a ton of cream. And nobody ever uses up the entire quart of buttermilk for buttermilk biscuits, do they? Clearly this is the perfect post-Thanksgiving recipe!
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon cultured buttermilk
- Mix together the 1 tablespoon of whipping cream and 1 cup of buttermilk in a glass or ceramic bowl large enough to easily hold it.
- Cover the bowl snugly with cheesecloth and place in a warm part of your kitchen until the cream mixture noticeably thickens. You’ll see recipes online suggesting anywhere 8-24 hours, but I’ve found it can take up to two days under certain conditions.
- Stir the crème fraîche well once it’s thick, then keep refrigerated. It will stay good for up to a couple weeks.