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.


Right after the buttermilk was stirred in, the consistency was the same as heavy cream.

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.


This is after about 23 hours of thickening, and it’s about the same texture as soft pudding. Guess I’ll call it creme fraiche.

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?


About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on April 28, 2013, in cooking, Creme fraiche, food, Mexican crema, recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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