Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crème Fraîche Quiche - so what IS Crème Fraîche, anyway?

Being a total rookie when it comes to ‘gourmet’ cooking - I had never heard of this secret ingredient before.  It makes one amazingly smooth and rich quiche - and using these directions - you don’t have to go on a wild goose chase to find it.  Simple cream, buttermilk, (and 1-2 days advance notice before preparing it) is all that’s required.

Crème Fraîche (I have learned) is pronounced ‘krem fresh’.  It is a thick and smooth (‘matured’) soured cream with a rich, velvety texture.  It has a nutty, slightly sour taste by culturing pasteurized cream with bacteria.  In France, where it originated - the cream is UNpasteurized so it naturally contains the bacteria necessary to change it.  There is no set standard for making this cream, and the butterfat content does vary (although it is usually around 30%)  The only problem (besides the fact that I couldn’t locate it ANYWHERE)  was the ridiculously expensive price.

So.... I quickly learned from several ‘experts’ to make my own.  Some websites say you need to gently heat your cream - I chose not to.  Plain and simple, here it is.  Use any cream (and YES, Ultra-pasteurized WILL work!), then stir in 2 Tbs of buttermilk for every cup.

I chose to place about 3 cups of cream with 6 Tbs buttermilk in a glass quart-size jar.  Leave it out on your countertop (at room temperature) and shake it every so often.  When you notice the consistency has changed from a thin liquid to a thick mixture that makes a different ‘sound’ when it is shaken - it is ready.  At this point, you need to refrigerate it.

Now... on to the quiche.  If you feel a bit intimidated by the Crème Fraîche, you can relax knowing you don't have to come up with your own pie crust.  

This recipe uses a sheet of puff pastry - so it couldn't be easier to make from this point on.  

If you want to be totally authentic, I've also included a photo diagram of baking your own crust in a springform pan.  I tried it, and I'm perfectly happy to just use puff pastry.

You'll love the creamy texture of this quiche.  Perfect for a girl-y brunch or lunch.

For this recipe, LOTS of photos, and detailed directions - go to:

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