Crème Fraîche {Recipe}

I recently made blini with smoked salmon and crème fraîche from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. And, as always when I make a recipe calling for crème fraîche, I looked at the price of it in the store and decided to make my own. Dorie has a recipe for crème fraîche in her book, and there are lots of recipes available online. My method differs slightly from other recipes I’ve seen and is based on my experience making it numerous times.

I start with 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Most recipes recommend using pasteurized, rather than ultra-pasteurized, whipping cream. But because ultra-pasteurized is the only kind I can regularly find, that’s what I use.

I heat the cream and buttermilk to about 100˚ to 110˚F. I find that heating the ingredients gives the culturing process a jump start.

Next, I cover the container with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for 36 to 48 hours, stirring once or twice per day. 

I let the cream culture until it thickens and gets tangy. It won’t be quite as thick as sour cream, but it will continue to thicken in the refrigerator.

I put a tight-fitting lid on the container and store it in the fridge. It will keep for about 2 weeks and will continue to get tangier during that time.

For my money, homemade crème fraîche is every bit as good as store bought at less than half the price. Once you make it, you’ll find all sorts of things to do with it, like this:

Crème Fraîche


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk


  1. Heat cream and buttermilk in a small saucepan to about 110˚F.
  2. Put cream mixture in clean container, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to culture at room temperature for 36 to 48 hours, stirring several times per day, until thickened and tangy.
  3. Cover container tightly and store in refrigerator.

Yields 1 cup. Best used within 2 weeks.


  1. April 15, 2012 at 8:52 am

    […] You could even make deviled eggs with them, or slice them in half and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and caviar. The possibilities are almost endless. But, to tell the truth, my favorite way to eat […]

  2. November 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    […] I served the soup with a squeeze of lemon juice and crème fraîche. […]

  3. Kayte said,

    November 1, 2011 at 6:45 am

    I have never tried making my own before, thanks for the recipe and the encouragement because you can bet I will now…those two ingredients are always in my frig and what’s not to love about a science experiment on the counter for a couple of days. Thanks!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      It’s as delicious as it is easy. I bet if you make it once, you’ll find yourself returning to it again and again!

  4. Kathy said,

    October 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I haven’t made Creme Fraiche in a long time but you have inspired me. Looks wonderful!

  5. Sara said,

    October 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    The season is behind us, but I love it just on fresh berries too! I agree about pre-heating, it does really help get it going.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Most of the recipes I’ve read say 12-24 hours, but mine always seems to take at least twice that long. The preheating seems to help a bit.

  6. October 27, 2011 at 8:52 am

    […] While the blini were cooking, I gathered the remaining ingredients: smoked salmon, caviar, fresh tarragon (the recipe called for dill, but I used what I had), and homemade crème fraîche. […]

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