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May 22, 2010

Getting fraiche

Creme fraicheBy all appearances, I lead a pretty tame life.

No hang gliding. No drugs. No swingers clubs.

But then there's that little jar of cream sitting out on my kitchen counter for a full day.

I know it's shocking. But I'll say it again: Dairy. Room temperature. Twenty-four hours.

All to sate my mad, passionate desire for creme fraiche.

I took a cup of heavy cream, added a tablespoon of buttermilk, mixed, and let the stuff sit out until it was as thick as sour cream. It's in the fridge now, where it's supposed to stay for at least a day, and up to two weeks, before using. 

I know it sounds risky, but Julia Child said it's OK. And yes, if Julia Child told me to jump off a bridge, I'd probably do that, too.

I'm using the creme fraiche Sunday in a brioche tart that's so good, it made Julia cry when she had a bite at the end of a memorable episode of "Baking with Julia." (The creme fraiche recipe above comes from the companion book to that series.)

If somebody out there wants the brioche tart recipe, I'll post that, too. (It's pretty long, so I don't want to do it on spec.) Just let me know.

Photo by math hubby

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 8:09 AM | | Comments (7)


I keep butter covered but out, room temp all the time. With no central air. Never gone rancid once.
So much paranoia over refrigeration these days.. Fun fact: chicken will "go bad" before mayonnaise does. Overall bacteria content is the main determining factor as to spoilage, meat has FAR more then pasteurized dairy, or unpasteurized dairy for that matter.
Start with clean containers and don't cross contaminate, everything should work out fine. After all, cheese and yogurt didn't magically appear one day.. bacteria made it happen.

The butter bell is a great idea for they who use butter sparingly, but a stick of butter doesn't last a month in this house. Maybe 4 days, tops.

I've been using crème fraîche lately to make fresh sorrel sauce with shallots. Last night we had some on smoked trout served
with chickpeas masala and a big salad--a perfect quick meal for Friday night, IMHO.

I had no idea you made creme fraiche that way. Please let us know how your tart turns out, and if you can post the recipe, that would be great too! Thanks!

The brioche tart recipe is already available online, at the
Baking with Julia

That saved me lots of typing. Thanks! The last few times I've made it, I've skipped the sauce. It's rich enough without it. I just top the tart with lightly glazed fresh fruit. Strawberries this time of year, apricots in summer. LV

Chocolate covered butter pats! MMMMMMMM!!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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