How to explain that Creme Fraiche is a not sour cream? Ah, let me count the ways. For starters it has a much more viscous, dreamy texture than American sour cream. As you can see in the photo above it can be piled up in heaping decadent swirls. Also, Creme Fraiche is typically much higher in fat content, about 14% fat in some cases. The acidity can hover around 4.5 ph the result is a cultured cream less sour than sour cream. All of these marvelous traits combined makes for a much richer product. Creme Fraiche is a knock out replacement for heavy cream in recipes, soups, and makes one hell of a (insert favorite dessert here) topping.
Now that you feel all educated about why Creme Fraiche is so much more than fancy-pants French sour cream let me tell you a story. Once upon a time Creme Fraiche was mixed with sugar and almond extract. Making a laughably simple dip/frosting thingy and there was much rejoicing in the kingdom. The End. Good story, no? Right, so no literary prizes for me. However, this bit of sweet dairy I whipped up is no joke.
Having never really used Creme Fraiche for anything and staring at the copious quantities on my store shelf I decided to explore. I admit, I'm really not a fan of unadulterated Creme Fraiche. I know, I know. All you other cheese-heads out there will tell me how vaguely nutty and lactic yogurty amazingness this cultured cream is. Frankly I find it bland. That is until it's mixed with other things. Then BAM!
In this case mixing it with sugar and almond made what was formerly an almost distasteful Creme into something, dare I say, magical. (okay cliche. but it is!) Suddenly the light sour yogurt flavors all harmonized into a sweet nutty topping for my breakfast toast. But the real good part was finishing off the last of it after dinner with a big bowl of ginger snaps carelessly dragged through the fluffy almondy cream.
Sweet Creme Fraiche + Almond
8 oz Creme Fraiche ( I like VC's version)
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 tsp almond extract
In a small chilled bowl whip all ingredients together until smooth and fluffy.
Eat at once and refrigerate left overs promptly.