Crème Fraîche

The fresh cream of France has a matured flavour more akin to the way our own used to taste. At last crème fraîche is becoming increasingly available in dairies and supermarkets here. But if you cannot persuade your local shop to stock it, you may have to make your own equivalent – it is certainly simple enough.

Method

Mix 150 ml(¼ pt) of soured cream (or for slightly different flavour and lower fat content, buttermilk or plain yoghurt) with 275 ml(½ pt) of double cream in a bowl over simmering water until the cream reaches the yoghurt-making temperature of 45°C (120°F).

Remove from the heat, cover the bowl and leave at room temperature for 8 hours until thickened. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator where the cream will store well for 1–2 weeks. If a small amount of watery liquid forms on top simply stir it back into the cream.

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