Creme Fraiche

Bottle of raw milk

Bottle of raw milk

by Cat, July 2007

Creme Fraiche (pronounced ‘Krem fresh’) is an essential ingredient in many European recipes.  It is similar to American sour cream, but not as stiff.  As a substitute, many cooks mix equal parts sour cream and whipped cream, which will work for some, but not all recipes, because it is not the real deal.  How much better to make your own real creme fraiche from good quality cream!

NOTE:  you can also use Piima Cream or Villi Cream as a good substitute for creme fraiche in recipes.

See also: 1. Milk & Culturing of Milk (About); 2. Butter & Buttermilk;3.Piima, Villi & FilMjolk4. Whipped Cream

Culturing temperature: 72 – 750 F (warm room temperature)

You need a spot that will stay at a constant 72° – 75°F for at least 24 hours, to make Creme Fraiche, such as:

  • a closet or cupboard with a low-wattage light bulb,
  • a shelf over a refrigerator (heat rises from the condensing coils),
  • near a heating vent.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 pint good quality cream (pasteurized is OK but not preferred.  Do not use ultra-pasteurized, as it will not culture).
  • 1 Tablespoon commercial creme fraiche.  If there is a gourmet grocery in your area, they will probably carry the real deal.  You can also use Fil Mjölk culture (from Sweden), or whole milk buttermilk.
  • glass jar with lid


1. Pre-Heat:  You do not need to preheat the pasteurized or raw cream.

2. Culturing:

  • Make sure your glass jar and its lid are very clean.
  • Pour cream into the glass jar; stir in the creme fraiche or buttermilk starter; stir well; and cover the jar tightly.
  • Place in the selected warm spot for about 24 hours, until it thickens slightly.

3. Chill:  Transfer to refrigerator for storage.


  • Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.

About Cat

See my 'About' page
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