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crème fraîche

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
I’ve been making crème fraîche the same way for years: heavy cream and a little bit of buttermilk shaken in a jar, then left on the counter for 24 hours. I’ve changed my method, however, after coming across Renee Erickson’s version in her book A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus. Here larger amounts of cream and buttermilk are whisked together, then covered in cheesecloth and left on the counter for 2-3 days. It may seem like a subtle difference, but 72 hours later I was greeted with the creamiest, dreamiest crème fraîche that I had ever made. It was rich and slightly tangy, and I was ready to dollop and smear it on everything within reaching distance.

Ms. Erickson’s book is quite beautiful, and I respected it even more after reading the introduction. “I’m…not a classically trained chef – actually, I’m not trained at all – so there aren’t a lot of rules about cooking in my kitchens. It’s more important to me that people are happy and comfortable than that they can crack an egg with one hand or slice a case of shallots in a minute flat. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t want to make someone else do it. I want my staff to have healthy lives and dynamic, interesting jobs that don’t entail someone hovering over them.” After working 15+ years in retail, coffeeshops, and kitchens I may have uttered a ‘thank you!’ upon reading those words.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus!

crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog
Crème Fraîche
From A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus by Renee Erickson
(the video above shows a half recipe being made)

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cream and buttermilk. Cover the top of the bowl with 3 individual layers of cheesecloth (you can attach it to the bowl with a rubber band) and let the crème fraîche sit for 2-3 days, until thick. Gently stir it, then transfer the crème fraîche to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.
crème fraîche | the vanilla bean blog

  • Reply
    Isabella
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    The video is beautiful! I have never made my own creme fraiche before… seems like a great project!

    • Reply
      Mahee Ferlini
      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      This looks great! Can’t wait to try it

  • Reply
    Emily
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    These photos are lovely, and I wish everyone had her approach to managing other people!

  • Reply
    Emily | the flown scissortail
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I’ve used this technique to make cultured butter before, but I’ve never just left it as is. I’ll definitely have to try it!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I’ve always wanted to make my own – your video is great!! Can’t wait to make this at home 🙂

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

    I’ve always wanted to make my own creme fraiche but never thought it was this easy. Especially since I can’t buy it locally without driving at least 25 miles away.

  • Reply
    Marisa
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:05 am

    I’ve been using Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for some time now which calls for just a Tb of buttermilk to one cup cream. But I absolutely must try this version – you totally caught my interest at “creamiest and dreamiest”!! I spent about an hour yesterday pouring over this cookbook at the local bookstore – it’s absolutely gorgeous 🙂

  • Reply
    Uschi
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:16 am

    never thought that it is so easy. Thanks for the wonderful pictures.

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Never would have thought to make my own creme fraiche before. Thanks for the idea and inspiration Sarah, this is definitely something I need to try!

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Wow! Who knew it was that easy? I’ll definitely be trying this. Only question – do I have to tell the folks who’ll be very impressed I made my own creme fraiche just how simple it was??

  • Reply
    Katie V
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:07 am

    I also love the old English word clabbering – for leaving milk out on the side to begin to ferment.

  • Reply
    Emma-leigh
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:14 am

    YUM 🙂

  • Reply
    Lidya
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:22 am

    I’ve never tried creme fraiche, would love to try it!

  • Reply
    theresa krier
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:30 am

    hi, i have never had nor made creme fraiche, i had no idea it was so easy. i can’t wait to make it for thanksgiving, yum. thanks so much

  • Reply
    Judy Grubbs
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Great video. I will try this soon.

  • Reply
    Suné Moolman
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 3:29 am

    I just love the cover of the book! And the title. 🙂
    Definitely making my own crème fraiche from now on!

  • Reply
    Deborah
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:12 am

    So lovely…..blessings for the giving of thanks next week.

  • Reply
    Magda
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:24 am

    What a great video, Sarah. I loved the music apart from the recipe instructions 🙂
    I find great creme fraiche where I live (the Netherlands) so I haven’t tried to make my own, but I am intrigued. Will give this a try, soon.

  • Reply
    Patricia Scarpin
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:42 am

    It is impossible to find store bought crème fraîche here in Brazil, that is a life savior! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Barbara Langlois
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Great video. Perfect timing for the tutorial…creme fraiche for the holidays. Thank you. Love cookbooks…would be a lovely addition to my collection. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Christina
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

    What a beautiful book! I’ve always meant to try to make creme fraiche – it’s so good with everything, sweet and savory. It’s hard to find in grocery stores here, and I love the idea of making it myself.

  • Reply
    Mimi
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Yummy recipe for Crete fraiche. I collect cook books and have not seen this one. Seems like my kind of cookbook.

  • Reply
    Tjaša
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

    This creme fraiche looks absolutely perfect! I had home made creme fraiche on my to-do list for a while now and I guess this weekend I will finally scratch it off. Can’t wait to taste this creamy perfection! And the book is just amazing, I’ve also been eying it for some time.

  • Reply
    Austenne
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I’m super sensitive to dairy (silly digestive system). However, there exist recipes that aren’t the same with substitutions. I will definitely be making creme fraiche soon.

    Thanks for sharing and have a happy day 🙂

    <3 Austenne

  • Reply
    Katherine
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I’m never sure what to do with crème fraîche! Sounds like an easy recipe though, I might try it anyway.

  • Reply
    Carol
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I love your marble! I’m starting to ferment things now so leaving it out longer sounds good to me 🙂

  • Reply
    Janice
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I cannot wait to try this creme fraiche recipe. This will be the perfect something extra to dollop on those Thanksgiving pies. Thank you for including the quotes from Renee Erikson’s intro.

  • Reply
    Katie McCleery
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I would love to win a copy of that beautiful book!

  • Reply
    Laura Biscaro
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I’ve always wanted to make my own crème fraiche, but I would also have to make my buttermilk from scratch (there’s no buttermilk in my country) and I’m a very lazy cook hahaha but that video made me excited to try it, though…

  • Reply
    CarolP
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I came across an online recipe for zucchini bread from the same book. It was amazing, and called for creme fraiche to serve alongside. This version looks wonderful – thanks for posting. The book looks great!

  • Reply
    Maryna
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:53 am

    thank you so much for sharing! i’ve been looking for this recipe for s long, because I’ve never seen creme fraiche in Ukrainian stores.

  • Reply
    Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I’ve never even thought to try to make my own creme fraiche, it looks so fun! I totally geeked out over your video – thanks for inspiring me to try this!

  • Reply
    Demi-Brooke
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Oh how delightful! This looks so yummy, and the sweetest book. Thanks for the recipe/chance to win. xx

  • Reply
    Beverly Elaine
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Perfect timing! We have recently moved out of the U.S. and I’m missing some of the food items I’ve grown accustomed to using in the States.

  • Reply
    Thea @ Baking Magique
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I’m so glad you’ve started making videos! It makes it so much easier to follow along 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne Gordon
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:25 am

    I could do this!

  • Reply
    Chloé
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Wow. The book looks awesome. + Thank you for this yummy recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    Vittoria
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  • Reply
    Cindy
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Love the cover of this book…..such whimsy! What would it be like to work with someone that leaves headed and grounded…….hmmmmm. The creme fraiche looks amazing. Tanks so much for sharing this book.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Always good to have a way to make creme fraiche at home!

  • Reply
    Maneesha Pradhan
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Nice to know can do this at home when I don’t have any on hand.

  • Reply
    Jane Downes
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Beautiful, encouraging video. Now I’ll definitely be making crème fresche for Thanksgiving! Thanks. I’m completely intrigued by the title of the giveaway cookbook. Sounds like a winner!

  • Reply
    sabine
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    C.f. is a constant inhabitant of my fridge, yet I never ever made it myself. What a shame, it seems. Thank you for this wonderful idea!

  • Reply
    Kelli
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    What a lovely simple yet Glorious concoction. Love the video. Make more 🙂

  • Reply
    Dana
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I used to make crème fraiche but never used it up before it went bad. Maybe I’ll give it another go. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Stardancer
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I have never made creme fraiche at all, but I expect that it will happen someday as I expand my cooking horizons!

  • Reply
    Mandi Flake
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Ooohhh! Now I can skip the hour’s drive to trader joe’s & just make my own, HOORAY!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    What a beautiful post. I’m inspired to try the recipe now!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    So simple! I will have to try this, for sure.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve never made my won crème fraiche, but I love it! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    What a beautiful book! We’re contemplating a move up to Seattle in the near future. I would love to eat at her restaurants and try my hand at some of her recipes.

  • Reply
    amanda
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I love all the recipes you post so I’m sure I will love this one too!!

  • Reply
    cynthia
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    This is so lovely, Sarah!! That video is beautifully serene (and you have such graceful hands!) And love your words on Renee’s book — her philosophy and her creme fraiche sound equally wonderful.

  • Reply
    Kinga champion
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I love recipes like these. Can you freeze it?

  • Reply
    Hannah @ Taste Neapolitan
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I had no idea Crème Fraîche was so easy to make! I found your blog on Steller and I am loving it!

  • Reply
    Miri
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    As I need creme fraiche for a dinner party soon and only had sour cream – there is no creme fraiche in Oz – it must have been destiny that I opened your blog and stumbled upon this simple recipe. Just followed the instructions of your video and can’t wait till it’s done 🙂

  • Reply
    Constance
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I’ll have to give this a whirl, sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    Sara {The Messy Mrs}
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    STOP IT! You have NO IDEA how excited I am to make this! I make my own ricotta, and it is exponentially better than anything I’ll ever get from a store. I can only imagine what homemade creme fraîche tastes like!

  • Reply
    Katie
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    It had never crossed my mind that I could make my own crème fraîche. Now I have to try it!

  • Reply
    Allison from Baking: a Love Story
    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Smart! It never even occurred to me to make my own creme fraiche. Love this idea and will be doing it this weekend. Thank you!

  • Reply
    sabrina
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Wow! I’ve got to give this a go. Love creme fraiche.

  • Reply
    Meghan
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Never did I think a 58 second video of hands preparing creme fraiche would be so beautiful & serene. But you have a way of doing that; making this beautiful where least expected. I’ve lusted after this cookbook ever since I read the title, and after reading that excerpt, I’m convinced I have to have it one way or another. Thank you, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Never made creme fraiche before. I’m going to try it.
    The video is so amazing! Thanks for sharing it! I really like the book, such a great title!

  • Reply
    bernice
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Great thanksgiving idea!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Awesome!!! Thanks for the info. Definetly on the to do list!

  • Reply
    Britney Loren
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I am now inspired to make my own creme fraiche! I was going to make my favoite lemon poundcake this weekend, too, which calls for creme fraiche. I am sure the addition of this home-made deliciousness will make it even more fabulous. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Lisa A
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I’m going to have to try this! I’ve always bought it in the past, but I love making things myself when I can.

  • Reply
    Khadija M.
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Heyyyy hello ok hi 😛 What do you think the shelf life is for the creme fraiche? xxx K.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 10:21 am

      It should last about a week in the fridge.

      • Reply
        Khadija M.
        Friday, November 21, 2014 at 6:13 am

        Oh okay thank you so much 😀

  • Reply
    Madeline
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I’ve heard some great things about this book, would love the chance to cook from it!!

  • Reply
    Miriam
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I finally might just give this a shot…thanks bunches 🙂

  • Reply
    Deloras
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    The book sounds like it might be the dreamiest, also. Thank you for the crème fraiche recipe.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I love this! Creamiest and dreamiest? YES PLEASE! And that cookbook would make a perfect gift.

  • Reply
    Elisa Wolff
    Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I very much appreciate Ms. Erickson’s approach to cooking. Cooking is something everyone can do, and demystifying it and making it okay to do what works for you is a huge step in getting everyone preparing their own food!

  • Reply
    christiana
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 3:24 am

    I am SO going to try this as creame fraiche is very expensive in Australia!
    Thanks for sharing x

  • Reply
    Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Love this; the video, the recipe, and the book! I’ve been wanting to make crème fraîche for so long now but somehow I still haven’t. You know those want-to-make projects that you have only to realize a couple of months (or years!) later that you still haven’t made them happen. Not even when they’re so very effortless to make like crème fraîche or ricotta? I *really* need to make homemade crème fraîche.

  • Reply
    cori
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Wow that’s creme fraiche? Dannng!

  • Reply
    La Cuisine d'Helene
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I should try this recipe because it’s hard to find crème fraiche around here.

  • Reply
    Terra
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Nickie Gorsky
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    hmmm…creme fraiche…lovely stuff…thanks for the giveaway chance for this beautiful worthy book…

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve always wondered how to make this—but I guess not wondered enough to check it out. Ha. Thanx for the chance to win such a beautiful book.

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    Friday, November 21, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    creme fraiche is hard to find, so this may come in handy

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I never realized it was so easy to make! Yum 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer P.
    Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    At Whale Wins (one of Renee Erickson’s restaurants), they put this creme fraiche on a piece of butter-roasted zucchini bread and sprinkle it all with a little salt. And it’s magical. Yes, magical. Sweet, tangy, salty and a little crunchy. Love at first bite for me. Now, with this recipe in hand, I’m feeling inspired to try making a version her zucchini bread dessert at home. Thanks for the sharing!

  • Reply
    Katie
    Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Looks like a beautiful book.

  • Reply
    Gina Guthrie
    Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for this recipe. It’s so hard to find creme fraiche in most stores.

  • Reply
    Alycia@foodblogit
    Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    This is so informative!! I will 100% be making this. Can’t thank you enough for this post!!!

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    Monday, November 24, 2014 at 7:30 am

    I haven’t made creme fraiche in quite a long time. I think I followed the recipe you mentioned at the beginning. Thought that was the only way! I need to try this version… it looks and sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    Lyndsey
    Monday, November 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I’ve never made creme fraiche, but I do love it. This book looks wonderful, too.

  • Reply
    Emily
    Monday, November 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing the video! I’m currently living in Santiago, Chile and miss my Trader Joe’s creme fraiche… This looks like an even better substitute 🙂

  • Reply
    The Vanilla Bean Blog | crème fraîche + a giveaway » webindex24.ch - News aus dem Web
    Monday, November 24, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    […] The Vanilla Bean Blog | crème fraîche + a giveaway […]

  • Reply
    MFree
    Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing this cute video. Dying to get my hands on the cookbook!

  • Reply
    Toni McCann
    Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    so simple. so yummy. definitely going to be giving this a try.

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I work at a small business and the girls and I are getting together to make my boss and his wife a basket of home-made goods for Christmas. This sounds like a good option for my part. How fun!

  • Reply
    Najee
    Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 10:36 am

    That almost looked too easy! 🙂 Nomnomnomnom.
    (also, what an adorable title for a cookbook!)

  • Reply
    Renee Kemps
    Monday, December 1, 2014 at 3:48 am

    Oh wauw. So easy to make! Can’t wait to try it out!

  • Reply
    Adrienne
    Monday, December 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I’m hearing a lot of buzz about thus book, looks like a great read. I finally got around to reading An Everlasting Meal this Fall. The cookbook meats memoir meets food philosophy format is very interesting!

  • Reply
    Lilia
    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I’ve been wanting to make my own for so long!!!! This post is a sign that I have to make it happen!

  • Reply
    Katie
    Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:13 am

    What a wonderful video–thank you!

  • Reply
    Empathy and gratitude/a few thoughts |
    Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    […] crème fraîche recipe can be found on The Vanilla Bean Blog. The photos on Sarah’s blog are always my […]

  • Reply
    Bridget
    Monday, December 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I’ve been making crème fraîche for 7 years with heavy cream and sour cream 1:1.
    Now I’ve tried this version 48 hours ago and YES – just perfect. Light and creamy and much, much better than my version. It’s now in my cookbook. Thank you!

    By the way: I didn’t know how calming it can be to watch a 58- seconds-video about making crème fraîche 🙂 The music, the movements, it was just relaxing.

  • Reply
    Carol
    Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    one word: AMAZING!

  • Reply
    Ellie
    Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Hi! Thanks so much for posting the recipe, I’m 15 and really into baking and until now I’ve never been able to try anything with creme fraiche as it’s never in the house! Will definitely try this next time I find a nice looking recipe for it- any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Ram Nieto
    Monday, December 29, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Love the concept of the website. Hope you could find time to visit my website and critic it. Thanks! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    In the Kitchen: Caramelized Onion Tartlets - Wit & Delight
    Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 7:01 am

    […] filling than needed, but the filling also makes a great dip. You can use sour cream in place of the crème fraîche, and goat cheese in place of the cream cheese. The mozzarella isn’t necessary, but I like the […]

  • Reply
    Strawberries and cream crostini |
    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    […] From Renee Erickson’s A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus as seen on The Vanilla Bean Blog […]

  • Reply
    farah
    Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 12:12 am

    So, since room temperatures differ, Would it be ok to leave it at room temp for 2-3 days in the hot summers too?

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