What is Crème Fraîche and How Do I Use It?

Crème Fraiche is a wonderful and versatile product that can add tremendous depth to many recipes. It’s also a common dairy product that most people have never heard of before. This article will answer all of your crème fraiche questions and more.

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Crème fraiche is a cultured, thickened cream with a slightly acidic taste (much like sour cream). It has many uses as an ingredient or a topping, but it’s not the same as regular sour cream or whipped cream. 

This article explores where you can find crème fraiche, how to make it at home, and what to do with it once you have some.

What is crème fraîche used for

Crème fraîche is a thick, rich cream that is used to enhance the flavor of many different recipes. It’s made by adding a bacterial culture to pasteurized cream and letting it sit at room temperature for a period of time. This allows natural lactic acid-producing bacteria to grow and multiply in the cream, which causes the fat milk molecules to break down into smaller pieces. The result is a thick, creamy spread with a tart flavor that will give your food more depth and a smooth texture.

This is often used for:

  • in dips
  • baked goods
  • For soups
  • Sauces
  • Desserts

Crème fraîche can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks after opening, so don’t feel you need to use it immediately!

Is crème fraîche the same as sour cream?

Crème fraîche is a French cream made with buttermilk and cream. It’s thicker, richer, and less tangy than sour cream. Crème fraiche has a higher fat content than sour cream and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. On the other hand, sour cream is made from cultured milk that lactic acid bacteria have soured. Sour cream has a thinner consistency than crème fraiche and is best used in savory dishes like soups or sauces.

Is crème fraîche healthy?

 Crème fraiche is a delicious, creamy dairy product that’s used in many recipes. It’s made by mixing heavy cream with buttermilk, which gives it its characteristic tanginess and thick texture.

But creme fraiche is not as healthy as it might seem. While it does have some benefits—it’s low in lactose and saturated fat, for example—its high-fat content makes it a food choice to be enjoyed only in moderation.

Can you eat crème fraîche raw?

The answer is yes! You can eat crème fraîche raw, but we recommend that you heat it first. The reason for this is that the milk proteins in crème fraîche are not fully denatured when they are pasteurized, so they may not be as stable when they are consumed raw. The heat helps to denature these proteins, giving them a firmer texture and making them more resistant to digestion.

We recommend heating your crème fraîche by whisking in a saucepan over low heat until warm (about 2 minutes). Then add it to your dish as normal!

Where would you find crème fraîche in a grocery store

 Crème fraîche is a delicious, creamy dairy product that can be used in various recipes. It’s perfect for making sauces or glazes and also great on top of soups and salads.

If you’re looking to buy crème fraîche in a grocery store, you’ll find it in small tubs in the grocery store’s dairy aisle. You can also buy it online with Instacart!

How to make crème fraîche

Crème fraiche is a simple, delicious way to add a little extra something to your next meal. It’s also super easy to make! Here’s how:


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp buttermilk or sour cream
  • 2 cultured buttermilk


  1. Combine 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, 1 tablespoon buttermilk, and 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk in a bowl or jar.
  1. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a lid and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours (the longer, the better).
  1. Transfer the mixture to a container with an airtight lid, cover tightly, and refrigerate until chilled (up to 5 days).

What’s a Good Substitute for crème fraîche?

Crème fraîche is one of those ingredients that seems simple but can be a pain to replace. Here are some popular replacement choices if you can’t get your hands on some.

Can I substitute Greek yogurt for crème fraîche?

You can substitute Greek yogurt for crème fraîche in a pinch. It will provide a similar creamy texture but slightly less rich and tangy. You’ll need to use about twice as much Greek yogurt to achieve the same texture as using crème fraîche.

Can I use cream instead of crème fraîche?

Heavy cream is an excellent alternative to creme fraîche if you’re looking for a thickening agent and a creamy texture. It has a high-fat content and won’t curdle, so it’s just like creme fraiche in soups and sauces. You can also whip cream to use as a substitute for creme fraiche.

Can I use cream cheese instead of crème fraîche?

Yes, most recipes can use cream cheese instead of crème fraîche. Remember that cream cheese is a bit milder than crème fraîche, so you may want to add a squeeze of lemon juice or lemon extract for a more authentic flavor.

Can I use Philadelphia instead of crème fraîche?

The answer is yes. You can use Philadelphia Cooking Creme instead of crème Fraiche. Some people love it as a substitute for crème Fraiche because it doesn’t separate at high temperatures, which is a common problem with crème Fraiche.

Of course, the downside is that it’s not as rich and creamy as real crème Fraiche, but if that doesn’t matter to you, then go ahead and give it a try!

Recipes using Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta

Prep Time: 15 MINS
Cook Time: 10 MINS
Chill Time: 4 HRS

Total Time: 4 HRS 25 MINS

This dessert is a perfect way to end a meal. The crème fraîche gives the panna cotta a light, creamy texture that is similar to that of a traditional creme brulee. It also adds a slight tanginess, which contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the caramelized sugar on top.

Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

This is a great recipe for those who are new to cooking. The ingredients are all simple and not too expensive. The salmon is baked with crème fraîche, which gives the fish a rich flavor and adds moisture. This dish goes well with steamed vegetables, rice, or salad.

Crème Fraîche pasta with peas and bacon

Prep time: 15 MINUTES 

Cook time: 15 MINUTES 

Total time: 30 MINUTES

It is a delicious way to get the most out of your pasta. The crème fraîche gives it a rich flavor, while the peas and bacon add a little bit of crunch and savory goodness. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner when you’re too tired to cook anything more complicated than boiling water but you still want something that doesn’t come out of a box or can.

Creamy Creme Fraiche Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

This creamy chicken dish is great for using leftover crème fraîche. The key to keeping this dish moist is to cook the chicken for at least five minutes before adding the sauce so that it has a chance to absorb some of the liquid.

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