The literal translation of crème fraîche is “fresh cream” but the product we know as crème fraîche is France’s version of our soured cream. Made with full-fat Jersey milk, our crème fraîche is thick and creamy, and it’s one of the most versatile ingredients around. Its high fat content prevents it from curdling or splitting when heated, but it’s equally delicious eaten cold. So what can you do with crème fraîche? Loads! Here are ten ways to use crème fraîche to get you experimenting.
- Spread a slice of toast with crème fraîche and top with caramelised onions and sautéed button mushrooms for a tasty snack.
- Swirl crème fraîche with some fruit preserve and use as a crepe filling or topping.
- Mix crème fraîche with hot grated horseradish and stir into creamed potatoes for a zingy mash that’s perfect with roast beef.
- Toss crème fraîche with cooked pasta, grated parmesan, pan-fried mushrooms and black pepper for a simple but stunning supper.
- Crème fraîche can often be used in place of other creams or even sauces. For example, Jamie Oliver uses crème fraîche as the basis for his white sauce in this simple baked lasagne recipe.
- A spoonful of crème fraîche stirred into homemade tomato soup gives it a creamy tang.
- The Guardian has a wonderful recipe for a prawn curry that brings together the flavours of East Asia and South America. The unusual combination of coconut, chilli, coriander and peanut has to be tried to be appreciated, and the addition of crème fraîche cools the fiery heat without compromising on flavour.
- Crème fraîche makes homemade pate a doddle. One idea is to blend smoked salmon trimmings with crème fraîche, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper, but you can also mix cold meats with crème fraîche for a more substantial pâté.
- Simple potato salad – mix boiled new potatoes with crème fraîche and chopped chives for a lovely salad accompaniment.
- Finally, use crème fraîche as a dip or topping for just about anything! Mix it with smoked paprika, crushed garlic or capers for a savoury dip with breadsticks or crudites, or use honey, cinnamon or granola for an unusual fruit topping.
With so many interesting ways to use crème fraîche, make sure you put some in your basket!