Making creme fraiche is very easy and, once you taste the magic of homemade sour cream, you'll have a hard time not repeating this esoteric exercise. Sure it takes a couple days, but the effort is minimal and the payoff is marvelous.

Chef John
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Ingredients

32
Original recipe yields 32 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine cream and buttermilk in a glass jar. Cover tightly with cheesecloth (or any breathable material) and let sit at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees F (21 to 24 degrees C)) for 24 hours. Stir, screw on lid, and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.

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Tips

Chef's Note:

Be sure to use the best, freshest cream you can find. Look for pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream. Make sure to use cultured buttermilk, otherwise you will wait a full day to see nothing happen.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

52 calories; 5.5 g total fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 7 mg sodium. 0.5 g carbohydrates; 0.4 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (158)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2012
This is a marvelous recipe! I could put it on almost any food in my fridge! I found the correct cream at Trader Joe's, an organic one, and my buttermilk was by Knudsen. I was just going to make a half a batch but went for the whole thing. Am I ever glad! This is better than sour cream! Creme Fraiche doesn't have the same holding power of sour cream as far as consistency goes, and it's not quite as sour. But delicious it is! I highly recommend that you try this! Thank you, Chef John! Read More
(87)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
04/02/2018
made twice would not thicken. I used Bavarian Buttermilk which has 9gms of fat. Thought this buttermilk would do a better job. Would not thicken very runny. Thought it would be easy. Followed directions sterilized still no results. Perhaps because I am not a Chef it did not turn out. Read More
(2)
201 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 183
  • 4 star values: 14
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2012
This is a marvelous recipe! I could put it on almost any food in my fridge! I found the correct cream at Trader Joe's, an organic one, and my buttermilk was by Knudsen. I was just going to make a half a batch but went for the whole thing. Am I ever glad! This is better than sour cream! Creme Fraiche doesn't have the same holding power of sour cream as far as consistency goes, and it's not quite as sour. But delicious it is! I highly recommend that you try this! Thank you, Chef John! Read More
(87)
Rating: 5 stars
07/02/2012
This is a marvelous recipe! I could put it on almost any food in my fridge! I found the correct cream at Trader Joe's, an organic one, and my buttermilk was by Knudsen. I was just going to make a half a batch but went for the whole thing. Am I ever glad! This is better than sour cream! Creme Fraiche doesn't have the same holding power of sour cream as far as consistency goes, and it's not quite as sour. But delicious it is! I highly recommend that you try this! Thank you, Chef John! Read More
(87)
Rating: 5 stars
10/07/2012
Ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream works just fine. I use it exclusively and it has never failed to make great Creme Fraiche. Don't waste your time looking for pasteurized. I use Ball canning jars to make this great sour cream in and will never buy another plastic tub of it. Read More
(78)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/26/2012
The crème fraiche was made exactly as written, and used in conjunction with Chef John's Classic Beef Stroganoff recipe. We used pasteurized cream, and found it at Whole Foods. One cautionary note . . . pasteurized cream has a fairly short shelf life so the crème fraiche will not last long in the fridge IF any is leftover. This added a special finishing touch to the beef stroganoff and so easy to make. Thank you, Chef John. Read More
(41)
Rating: 5 stars
05/25/2014
This recipe is so easy and delicious. I used my yogurt maker and it was done in 8 hours. So easy and didn't have to wait 2 days. I poured everything in the maker and went to bed, when I got up this morning it was perfect! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
02/14/2013
I let it sit on the top of my espresso machine or the top of my refrigerator. It is always warmer in those areas and it just works better than leaving it on the counter top. Maybe I just keep the house a little too cool? LOL Read More
(25)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/25/2013
If you haven't used sweetened whipped creme fraiche in place of whipped cream, you're missing the best dessert topping of your life! I lost my source of creme fraiche (TJ's) when we moved to Tampa. Thanks, Chef John, for showing me how to make it at home. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
08/10/2013
This is terrific! I used ultra-pasteurized cream as that is all I could find, and it worked just fine. This was pretty cool to make, and who knew it was so easy?! I used it to make Creme Caramel and BLT Pasta, both also Chef John's recipes, and both are truly amazing. Thank you, Chef John- you continue to make me look like a culinary genius :) Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
04/24/2013
We really loved this! It has become something we just do any time the heavy cream has been sitting a few days and needs to be put to use. It is so delicious and family have been taking it home with them whenever there is extra. Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2014
I've been making creme fraiche using this method for almost 20 years. Easy peasy and SO tasty. It's also good made with Brown Cow yogurt instead of buttermilk (the live cultures are important). This does work with ultra pasteurized cream, I've done it more than once when ultra pasteurized was all I could find. You may need more buttermilk/yogurt or a little more time for it to culture. Read More
(10)
Rating: 1 stars
04/02/2018
made twice would not thicken. I used Bavarian Buttermilk which has 9gms of fat. Thought this buttermilk would do a better job. Would not thicken very runny. Thought it would be easy. Followed directions sterilized still no results. Perhaps because I am not a Chef it did not turn out. Read More
(2)