What is Crème Fraiche?
Time to bring the rest of us up to speed.
The French version of soured cream, crème fraîche is twice as rich and twice as thick. It’s made from pasteurized cows’ milk to which a lactic bacteria culture has been added. This thickens the cream and gives it a distinctive sharp flavor.
Jeannine Barilla told me how excited she was when it started being stocked in the market. Not only was it superb in her Christmas truffles, but even mundane scrambled eggs were elevated to new gastronomic delight when it was added to the eggs instead of milk.
Hearing that, I brought some home. Graham used the crème fraiche in some garlic mashed potatoes he prepared and they disappeared. The bowl was so clean I almost didn’t need to wash it. (kidding)
Here’s a recipe from BBC Food you can try to learn how crème fraiche can elevate sweet and buttery squash to new heights.
Butternut squash, sage and crème fraîche mash
10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1.5kg/3lb 5oz butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 2cm/1in pieces
large pinch chilli flakes
40g/1½oz parmesan, coarsely grated
6 tbsp crème fraîche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a wide, heavy-based, lidded pan over a low heat. When the butter is foaming, add the sage and fry one minute.
2. Add the butternut squash pieces and chilli flakes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Lightly mash the squash, using a fork, then stir in the parmesan and crème fraîche until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
less than 30 mins preparation time
10 to 30 mins cooking time