Chef John's Creme Fraiche Recipe -
Chef John's Creme Fraiche  Recipe
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How to Make Homemade Crème Fraiche
See how to make homemade crème fraiche. See more
  • READY IN 2+ days

Chef John's Creme Fraiche

Recipe by  

"Making creme fraiche is very easy and, once you taste the magic of homemade sour cream, you'll have a hard time not repeating this esoteric exercise. Sure it takes a couple days, but the effort is minimal and the payoff is marvelous."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 pint Change Servings
  • PREP

    5 mins

    2 days 5 mins


  1. Combine cream and buttermilk in a glass jar. Cover tightly with cheesecloth (or any breathable material) and let sit at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees F (21 to 24 degrees C)) for 24 hours. Stir, screw on lid, and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.
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  • Chef's Note:
  • Be sure to use the best, freshest cream you can find. Look for pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream. Make sure to use cultured buttermilk, otherwise you will wait a full day to see nothing happen.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 02, 2012

This is a marvelous recipe! I could put it on almost any food in my fridge! I found the correct cream at Trader Joe's, an organic one, and my buttermilk was by Knudsen. I was just going to make a half a batch but went for the whole thing. Am I ever glad! This is better than sour cream! Creme Fraiche doesn't have the same holding power of sour cream as far as consistency goes, and it's not quite as sour. But delicious it is! I highly recommend that you try this! Thank you, Chef John!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 07, 2014

The first time I made this it worked perfectly, since then (am on my third try) I have not gotten it to thicken.

Oct 07, 2012

Ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream works just fine. I use it exclusively and it has never failed to make great Creme Fraiche. Don't waste your time looking for pasteurized. I use Ball canning jars to make this great sour cream in and will never buy another plastic tub of it.

Dec 26, 2012

The crème fraiche was made exactly as written, and used in conjunction with Chef John's Classic Beef Stroganoff recipe. We used pasteurized cream, and found it at Whole Foods. One cautionary note . . . pasteurized cream has a fairly short shelf life so the crème fraiche will not last long in the fridge IF any is leftover. This added a special finishing touch to the beef stroganoff and so easy to make. Thank you, Chef John.

Feb 14, 2013

I let it sit on the top of my espresso machine or the top of my refrigerator. It is always warmer in those areas and it just works better than leaving it on the counter top. Maybe I just keep the house a little too cool? LOL

May 25, 2013

If you haven't used sweetened whipped creme fraiche in place of whipped cream, you're missing the best dessert topping of your life! I lost my source of creme fraiche (TJ's) when we moved to Tampa. Thanks, Chef John, for showing me how to make it at home.

Apr 24, 2013

We really loved this! It has become something we just do any time the heavy cream has been sitting a few days and needs to be put to use. It is so delicious and family have been taking it home with them whenever there is extra.

Aug 10, 2013

This is terrific! I used ultra-pasteurized cream as that is all I could find, and it worked just fine. This was pretty cool to make, and who knew it was so easy?! I used it to make Creme Caramel and BLT Pasta, both also Chef John's recipes, and both are truly amazing. Thank you, Chef John- you continue to make me look like a culinary genius :)


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  • Calories
  • 52 kcal
  • 3%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 0.5 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 20 mg
  • 7%
  • Fat
  • 5.5 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 0 g
  • 0%
  • Protein
  • 0.4 g
  • < 1%
  • Sodium
  • 7 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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