Tag Archives: buttermilk

How To: Creme Fraiche.

30 May

Alrighty. Creme fraiche. So it turns out creme fraiche is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is some heavy cream, culture, and a warm-ish windowsill. Emphasis on the warm-ish windowsill. I made this stuff in early May and Boston was still dealing with some shitty weather, so although I left my jar out for almost two and a half days the creme fraiche did not thicken correctly. I ended up sticking it in the fridge and then leaving it out for again for about an hour when the sun finally showed up, and it thickened almost immediately. Bacteria yay?

It is very fun to make. Very. It doesn’t involve much active process, but you feel triumphant anyway. Like an ass-kicking pioneer woman who is about to blow your bloody MIND.

1 container heavy cream

1 TB buttermilk or 2 TB yogurt – I used yogurt

jar

This picture makes me believe that the cream is ready to conquer the WORLD.

So. Pour all of your cream into a jar and add the buttermilk or yogurt. I used 2TB of greek yogurt. I had read that the cultures in yogurt aren’t as “strong” as the ones in buttermilk so I doubled the recommended amount. The yogurt you use will impart a slight flavor to your finished creme fraiche. For example, I used a tart greek yogurt and my creme fraiche was likewise slightly tart.

Stir in the yogurt/buttermilk and leave it (preferably uncovered, unless you’re worried about bugs) at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken slightly once you move it to the fridge.

I left it out longer (2.5 days).  On a warm day I would probably leave it for 12 and then check on it to ensure that it is thickening correctly, but you likely won’t need to leave it out for so long. Mine, even after 2.5 days, was initially very thin. I then left it out in the sun for maybe an hour and it thickened right up.

This is how it looked after 2.5 days.

As you can see, it wasn’t coagulating correctly. It still tasted good, it just didn’t quite have the texture I was after. If you end up with runny creme fraiche, remember that you can always whip it like whipped cream if you wish. I was actually planning on doing that until the sun finally showed up.

You can use the finished product in so many ways, just be sure to use it up in a week-ish. (I’m a little lax with expiration dates…I basically use something until it starts to smell.) (TMI?) Things I made:

Scrambled eggs

Pancakes

Creme fraiche/nutella strawberry dipping sauce (you just swirl the two together).

Enjoy!

❤ stef

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Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits and Maple Cream

18 May

Sorry about the Friday debacle. I totally did not intend for this delay to happen, I usually just assume I will have computer access wherever I go. I should probably stop assuming things.

I’m going to admit that I made these biscuits as a vehicle for the maple cream that is to come. Not that I don’t enjoy a nice biscuit, quite the contrary, but I really just needed something to slather with maple cream and I thought you might too.

Biscuits:

2 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp salt
6 TB butter
1 C buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 450˚.
Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Cut the butter into tiny cubes.

Cut into the flour until it looks like course cornmeal. You can do this with a fork, or use a food processor. I used my immersion blender and it worked wonderfully!

As a side note, I got this immersion blender for my birthday and I am in LOVE with it. I’ve wanted one for a few years, but didn’t really think I would use it nearly as much as I do. It’s amazing for so many reasons, but one of the things I like the best about it is that I can make milkshakes directly in a glass! YUM!

When the mixture looks about right, add the buttermilk. Mix together just to blend. Don’t over mix or the resulting biscuits will be tough! Wet your hands and scoop the dough into biscuits approximately 1/4 C in size. Pat gently to make a thick, flat disc shape and put on a cookie sheet 1/2″ apart.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the biscuits are slightly golden. You don’t want them to be brown.

Maple Cream!

I love, love LOVE maple cream! I had it for the first time years ago, in a teeny tiny jar labeled “maple butter” that my aunt had gotten in some kind of gift basket. I didn’t try it again until I moved to San Francisco and found it in a health food store (for the curious-Green Earth Natural Foods, home of the lovable grumpy old man). When I went on a search for a recipe, I found that what I was eating was technically not called maple butter but maple cream. Who would have known? Not I, child of the west coast.

So maple cream is deliciously delicious. It tastes like maple syrup but better. The process (you basically just heat, cool, then stir) makes the syrup sort of crystallize, and it is turned into a thick, sweet, spreadable, opaque ambrosia suitable for using on anything you would regularly put maple syrup on or for simply eating with a spoon. Which I have done. And it’s AMAZING.

1 C pure maple syrup – you can use more. This makes a smidge bit more than 8oz (1C) of maple cream.
a few drops of veggie oil

Fill a sink full of cold water.

Put 1 C of maple syrup and a few drops of veggie oil in a large pan. You can see the veggie oil drops, to the right in the picture.

Put a thermometer that can reach 236˚ into the maple syrup and turn on the heat.

Make sure the thermometer isn’t touching the bottom of the pan, just the syrup. I used a rubber band to secure it to the handle of the pot on the outside to do this. Boil the syrup until it reaches 236˚. I should note here that, according to the majority of the recipes I read, the temperature should be 24˚ over the boiling point of water. I just tacked on 24 to 212 because I live in San Francisco, which is basically at sea level, but depending on where you live this number may be different.

my ultra-cool, maple cream making thermometer apparatus.

my ultra-cool, maple cream making thermometer apparatus.

Watch the syrup! You want it to boil, you do not want it to boil over. So be careful!

When the syrup reaches 236˚, turn off the heat.

This is what the syrup looked like when it reached the correct temperature.

This is what the syrup looked like when it reached the correct temperature.

Place the entire pot in the cold water. Do not touch or stir the syrup. Simply allow it it come to room temperature. You will know this has occurred when it is no longer giving off heat.

Remove from the water and slowly stir the syrup until it becomes opaque. This is the hardest part. I’m going to be honest, I felt like my arm just might fall off. But the persistent will be deliciously rewarded. You’re done when it has reached the consistency of very smooth peanut butter. Spoon into jars and refrigerate.

When I first started with the stirring.

When I first started with the stirring.

after a few minutes.

After a few minutes.

After a few more.

After a few more.

This is the result of too much stirring!

This is the result of too much stirring!

If you stir it too much, it will get too hard. That happened to me, and I ended up having to start the process all over again! Very annoying, and set me back another hour. Just remember that you want it to be a spread, not a candy. The result should be somewhere between pictures 3 and 4.

Spread it all over everything. Like those lovely biscuits you just made! NOM!

❤ Stef