In my lifetime, I’ve bought (and eaten) a pretty significant amount of creme fraiche, which is like a thicker, tangier sour cream that falls somewhere between condiment and fresh cheese. I’m not a terribly fancy hors d’oeuvres person, but every so often there’s a recipe that calls for it, or a dessert that might otherwise be too sweet. I’m a big fan of serving it alongside chocolate cake, which I think I stole from April Bloomfield at The Spotted Pig long enough ago that it’s officially become my own personal thing.

It took me until now to make creme fraiche for the first time, and not only is it so simple it shouldn’t even be called a recipe, it’s so much better (and significantly cheaper) than the store-bought variety.

Basically, you mix some cream (ideally just regular pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized, but it’s not the end of the world if all you can get is ultra-pasteurized) with some buttermilk and let it sit out at room temperature for a day or two. As it sits, it’ll get thicker and tangier and funkier, and once it’s where you want it, refrigerate it. It’s basically a food miracle. I’ve been eating the batch …read more

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