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What Is The Difference Between Creme Fraiche And Sour Cream

No creme fraiche? No problem. Here’s everything you need to know about what to substitute for crème fraiche and how to make your own DIY alternative:


What is Crème Fraiche and what is a good substitute?

A teaspoon with a spoonful of thick cream on top
milanophoto

Crème fraiche is a dairy product made from cream and bacterial culture. It can be used fresh, topped with fruit and desserts, or added as a thickener to sauces, soups and stews.

While crème fraiche is a staple in Europe, it’s not as common in the United States. You can find it in some grocery stores and specialty stores, but many American home cooks choose to make it themselves (more on that later) or use sour cream as an easy-to-find substitute.

Crème fraiche and sour cream are similar in many ways and can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio (if your recipe calls for ½ cup crème fraiche, use ½ cup sour cream).

Crème fraiche and sour cream are both creamy, rich, and tangy, but they have some very notable differences that will affect the outcome of your recipe.


Crème Fraiche versus sour cream

Fresh creams
Photo by Getty Images.

Sour cream is about 20% fat and crème fraiche is about 30% fat. This small but important distinction means crème fraiche is not prone to curdling. Sour cream, meanwhile, tends to curdle when heated.

This means that you should only really try to substitute crème fraiche for sour cream if it’s being used cold or at room temperature. If you must use sour cream as a thickener, wait until the soup or sauce is off the heat before stirring.

Crème fraiche is also thicker, richer, and less tangy than sour cream, so you should consider how important these factors are before substituting ingredients.


Other Crème Fraiche substitutes

Cream with Whole Fresh Fruit
wilatlak cottage

Sour cream isn’t the only perfectly adequate crème fraiche substitute. You can also try one of these alternatives:

  • DIY creme fraîche: Your best bet is, without a doubt, to create your own replacement. All you need is buttermilk, cream and a little patience. Scroll to the next section for more information on how to make your own crème fraiche.
  • Mascarpone cheese: If you’re short on time, try using mascarpone. Italian cream cheese has a comparable texture and taste, but mascarpone is sweeter. Works best as a substitute in dessert recipes. Replace with a 1:1 ratio.
  • Whole Greek yogurtWhile it’s not as rich as crème fraiche, you can use full-fat Greek yogurt as an alternative in a pinch. Replace with a 1:1 ratio.


How to make crème fraiche

Glass cup of kefir or buttermilk and in a spoon
mix it

You don’t really need a recipe for making crème fraiche at home, but you might find it helpful to have specific measurements and instructions—that’s where Chef John’s super simple one-step recipe comes in.

Get the recipe: Chef John’s Crème Fraiche

All you need to do is combine two cups of heavy cream with three tablespoons of buttermilk in a jar, then wait two days for the mixture to magically thicken.

Be sure to use cultured buttermilk and the freshest pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream you can find. You can use your new DIY crème fraiche anywhere you normally use store-bought sour cream (but it will taste Like this much better).

What is Mascarpone?


No creme fraiche? No problem. Here’s everything you need to know about what to substitute for crème fraiche and how to make your own DIY alternative:


What is Crème Fraiche and what is a good substitute?

A teaspoon with a spoonful of thick cream on top
milanophoto

Crème fraiche is a dairy product made from cream and bacterial culture. It can be used fresh, topped with fruit and desserts, or added as a thickener to sauces, soups and stews.

While crème fraiche is a staple in Europe, it’s not as common in the United States. You can find it in some grocery stores and specialty stores, but many American home cooks choose to make it themselves (more on that later) or use sour cream as an easy-to-find substitute.

Crème fraiche and sour cream are similar in many ways and can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio (if your recipe calls for ½ cup crème fraiche, use ½ cup sour cream).

Crème fraiche and sour cream are both creamy, rich, and tangy, but they have some very notable differences that will affect the outcome of your recipe.


Crème Fraiche versus sour cream

Fresh creams
Photo by Getty Images.

Sour cream is about 20% fat and crème fraiche is about 30% fat. This small but important distinction means crème fraiche is not prone to curdling. Sour cream, meanwhile, tends to curdle when heated.

This means that you should only really try to substitute crème fraiche for sour cream if it’s being used cold or at room temperature. If you must use sour cream as a thickener, wait until the soup or sauce is off the heat before stirring.

Crème fraiche is also thicker, richer, and less tangy than sour cream, so you should consider how important these factors are before substituting ingredients.


Other Crème Fraiche substitutes

Cream with Whole Fresh Fruit
wilatlak cottage

Sour cream isn’t the only perfectly adequate crème fraiche substitute. You can also try one of these alternatives:

  • DIY creme fraîche: Your best bet is, without a doubt, to create your own replacement. All you need is buttermilk, cream and a little patience. Scroll to the next section for more information on how to make your own crème fraiche.
  • Mascarpone cheese: If you’re short on time, try using mascarpone. Italian cream cheese has a comparable texture and taste, but mascarpone is sweeter. Works best as a substitute in dessert recipes. Replace with a 1:1 ratio.
  • Whole Greek yogurtWhile it’s not as rich as crème fraiche, you can use full-fat Greek yogurt as an alternative in a pinch. Replace with a 1:1 ratio.


How to make crème fraiche

Glass cup of kefir or buttermilk and in a spoon
mix it

You don’t really need a recipe for making crème fraiche at home, but you might find it helpful to have specific measurements and instructions—that’s where Chef John’s super simple one-step recipe comes in.

Get the recipe: Chef John’s Crème Fraiche

All you need to do is combine two cups of heavy cream with three tablespoons of buttermilk in a jar, then wait two days for the mixture to magically thicken.

Be sure to use cultured buttermilk and the freshest pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream you can find. You can use your new DIY crème fraiche anywhere you normally use store-bought sour cream (but it will taste Like this much better).

What is Mascarpone?


Video about What Is The Difference Between Creme Fraiche And Sour Cream

What is the difference between sour cream and creme fraiche?

00:00 – What is the difference between sour cream and creme fraiche?
00:42 – Is Mascarpone the same as creme fraiche?
01:17 – Can I use milk instead of creme fraiche?
01:49 – Is creme fraiche and cream cheese the same?

Laura S. Harris (2021, July 5.) What is the difference between sour cream and creme fraiche?
AskAbout.video/articles/What-is-the-difference-between-sour-cream-and-creme-fraiche-256839

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Our mission is informing people properly. With this video, our main goal is to spread scientific knowledge. If required by education, we may also present a detail of the topic that may be bothering to some people.

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