Okay, perhaps “need” isn’t exactly the right word, but once you’ve had it, you’ll know what I mean.
The ultimate French thing, creme fraiche, an incredibly simple combination of heavy cream, sour cream, a bit of heat, and time, does what few other foods can do: bring a rich, slightly tangy, wonderful mouth feel to anything it touches. If you put butter on it, if you slather it with sour cream, if you swirl heavy cream into it at the last minute, creme fraiche will make it better.
Makes a bit more than 2 cups
1 pint of heavy cream
1/4C of sour cream, NOT fat free
In a small sauce pan, warm the heavy cream to about 100F. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sour cream thoroughly. Pour this into some sort of crock-like vessel – I’m using a French Onion Soup bowl, complete with lid. Let it cool for about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap. Leave it on your counter. For two days. Seriously.
Once a day, stir it thoroughly but gently with a teaspoon. Recover with the plastic wrap. At the end of the 2nd day, chill and keep it in the refrigerator.
Close to the front, where you’ll see it and remember to use it. After the first week, you’ll agree that “need” is the right word.
Photo, courtesy: wisegeek.org
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2013.