Creme Less-than-Fraiche?
February 5, 2018 11:29 AM   Subscribe

So, I've never had crème fraîche, and therefore don't have a baseline for comparison, and this is also not something that's available to buy as a discrete item in my location, so I used this recipe to make some. However, I accidentally let it sit a lot longer than recommended, and now I can't tell if it's throw-it-out-and-start-again, or it's-fine-just-go-with-it.

Because it's winter and I originally hoped it would set up quickly, I placed it next to a radiator. But then we ended up not cooking the dish I wanted it for, and I forgot about it – for like a day and a half. In a *really* warm spot.

I've tasted it, and it doesn't taste "bad," and I'm not even sure what bad would taste like – similar to milk that's gone bad maybe? It doesn't taste like that. But it doesn't really taste "good" either. Maybe it tastes like it's supposed to: sort of sour-y cream (but not like sour cream, which is sort of buttery and rich)?

If you are knowledgeable about crème fraîche made this way (buttermilk and cream), what is your opinion? Toss or not?
posted by taz to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
It sounds like it should taste somewhere between sourcream and buttermilk: tangy. It's a generally rich food (it's at the higher-fat end of the spectrum of such dairy products).

Was it covered?
posted by Sunburnt at 11:33 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

It was covered, but not with cloth. It was in a jar with a lid.
posted by taz at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2018

I think milk products that are spoiled are very obvious about it. I haven't made your thing, but I have made a lot of yogurt and farm type cheese, but if it is sourish, but not "off" or gag inducing, it's probably fine (and would be a good ingredient in anything you might use buttermilk or yogurt, like pancakes or cake if you don't particularly enjoy it as is).
posted by glitter at 11:34 AM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

I make homemade crème fraîche for my quiches on a regular basis using heavy cream and buttermilk. The recipe I use encourages you to leave it out for 24 hours (although you can do 12 in a pinch, it just won't be as thick). Crème Fraîche is meant to taste like sour cream. I think you have a solid crème fraîche on your hands and you can put it in the fridge or use it now.

Rancid/rotting/sour milk will make you gag. If this doesn't make you gag - you should be good to go!
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 11:45 AM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

I make it all the time and sometimes leave it out a bit long if I forget. It should taste like buttermilky sour cream and have a sour cream texture. If, as you say, it doesn't taste good and it doesn't taste bad, I would venture to guess that it won't kill you, but it's not a particularly successful batch, because good creme fraiche definitely tastes delicious and you will want to eat it by the spoonful.

For future reference, it's done when it's a bit thinner than you want it, because it will further thicken in the fridge. Also, it's worth trying different brands of buttermilk until you find one that makes a creme fraiche that's really delicious. You'd be surprised what a big difference there can be. Last week our local organic creamery started offering buttermilk so I thought surely this would make the best creme fraiche ever. Wrong. Not delicious. Going back to my Organic Valley buttermilk.
posted by HotToddy at 12:18 PM on February 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Delete if this is too much of a chat/derail/tangent, but has anybody tried making crème fraiche with kefir instead of buttermilk? It's not always possible to find buttermilk with live cultures here.
posted by kate4914 at 12:21 PM on February 5, 2018

That's fine, kate4914, I'm curious too; what we have here is not called "buttermilk" either, so we have a few "sour milk" options with different names. The one I used claims a live culture.
posted by taz at 12:44 PM on February 5, 2018

It's just sour cream. If it tastes like sour cream you are good to go.
posted by fshgrl at 1:22 PM on February 5, 2018

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