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Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Wishes & How to Make Creme Fraiche

Brrrr.... Is it cold enough for you? Sigh... winter is upon us.

I apologize for my recent absence. It's been a wonderful though tiring couple of weeks as our newborn son has made himself at home. Babies for all their eight (nine, ten...) pounds are high maintenance. Parents warn you that babies grow so quickly and to embrace every moment... admittedly, it's hard to embrace the moment when you are trying to get your crying child back to sleep at 3:30am. However, I didn't realize how true this statement was until today I put away my baby's newborn clothes... he has already outgrown them and it's only been four weeks. Oh, how they grow! While I am happy he is growing and thriving, I admit I am a little sad that this little baby I gave birth just a month ago is already growing up so quickly. (My friends with teen aged children tell me this feeling never goes away the older they get...)

This is my last post for the year. I am still learning how to multi-task with a newborn, we are getting ready to host my in-laws for the holidays and (surprise, surprise) I am sleep deprived. I want to take the time to savour this special time with my family so I am going to take a short break. I hope, dear readers, you have a very happy holiday surrounded by your loved ones. Happy holidays and see you sometime in January!

Until then, I leave you with the recipe to one of my favourite ingredients, creme fraiche.

Creme fraiche used to sit in the pantheon of high-end ingredients along side, foie gras, truffles, saffron, caviar, and Kobe beef. But no longer.... it is very accessible and everyday affordable (though your hips might not forgive you) because it is can be made at home.

I first became acquainted with this luxurious ingredient while watching Martha Stewart Living back in the day. I watched with endless curiosity when she used this sophisticated cousin of sour cream in both sweet and savoury applications: cakes, pies, appetizers, eggs, etc. It's rich texture and tangy flavour possesses the ability to magically transform the mundane into the extraordinary, for example, turning mashed potatoes from humble to la-dee-da special.

Recently, I had a craving for those luscious Gordon Ramsay scrambled eggs the other day. Alas, my fridge did not have creme fraiche. I did have some buttermilk and heavy cream (35% milk fat!!) and a little time on my hands.

Creme fraiche also has many other splendid uses: whipped and served over berries; swirled as a thickener for sauces (due to its high fat content, it does not curdle when heated); dolloped over a frittata, omelet or eggs en cocotte; added into mashed potatoes, or stirred into this risotto.

Mind you, making your own creme fraiche is at minimum an overnight endeavour so plan in advance. ;)

Bon Appetit.

See you in the new year!

Creme Fraiche

2 c heavy cream
1/4 c buttermilk

Heat heavy cream in a heavy pot until it reaches 100 degrees F. Pour into a clean glass bowl, stir in buttermilk. Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave on counter top in a warm place undisturbed in your kitchen for at least 12 hours to 36 hours - depending on desired consistency. (Obviously this varies depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If you make this in a more humid environment, I would check on your creme fraiche sooner rather than later.) I like it rather thick and rich so that it is sturdy and stands up when scooped.

Refrigerate and use within two weeks.


Lindsey@pickyeatings said...

Hang in there, and happy holidays to you as well!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful baby boy, and such a helpful recipe! I'll definitely use this in the future.

Yamin said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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