The creme de la crema
Not long ago, my day job had me writing copy about Mexican dairy products for my client’s client. The main focus was on Mexican cheeses, but they also wanted me to write a few hundred words on crema. (This link is not to my copy.)
Naturally, I had to try making it.
Crema is often called Mexican sour cream, but it’s basically creme fraiche that hasn’t been left out quite as long. Neither is as thick as sour cream, and crema is typically a bit thinner than creme fraiche.
Recipes may vary slightly, but most I found said to heat 1 cup of whipping cream to just under 100 degrees, then stir in 1 or 2 tablespoon of buttermilk, put it in a glass jar, cover loosely and let it stand anywhere from 12-36 hours. (I think one recipe said 48 hours, but it depends on how warm the room is.) Cover and refrigerate. It’s good for about a week.
There’s no immediate gratification with this recipe, but luckily I’m pretty patient.
The longer it sits out, the thicker it gets. Use it in place of sour cream, or sweeten it and serve it with fresh fruit.
Unlike sour cream, crema (or creme fraiche, if you prefer) doesn’t separate when heated, making it a great addition to soups and other hot dishes.
What food-related experiments have you tried lately?