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Sauces & Stuff

Homemade Crème Fraîche

Most chefs have a secret ingredient that enhances the deliciousness of their dishes. Crème fraîche [krehm FRESH] is one of those favorite “behind the scenes” additions. This homemade version is made with just two ingredients — heavy cream and buttermilk — it adds a rich, creamy, and slightly tangy flavor to food. There are a myriad of ways to use it — try adding it into a sauce, as a topper for fresh fruit or grilled vegetables, as a salad dressing booster, or turn it into a sauce with a couple of add-ins then dollop it on top of smoked salmon or roast beef.


16 servings (2 Cups)

Total Time

1–2 days

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Crème fraîche is a combination of heavy cream and an added live culture — in this recipe, it's buttermilk. The live culture in the buttermilk multiplies and acts as a fermenting agent to protect and thicken the cream. No buttermilk on hand? Substitute with the same amount of sour cream. Once the crème fraîche has thickened, store it in the refrigerator.


Combine cream and buttermilk in a sterile jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to combine and let stand at room temperature until thickened, 24–48 hours. Shake gently, then chill until ready to use (it will continue to thicken as it chills). Crème fraîche keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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