How to Use Every Spoonful of Crème Fraîche

March 21, 2016

I am in the quiet, guilty contingent of People Who Buy Crème Fraîche and Ignore It, regrettably and unintentionally letting it go wild in the back left corner of the fridge next to the gochujang. This is mostly because crème fraîche is far from my regular grocery rotation, and I simply forget that it's in there.

But crème fraîche is expensive and, having convinced myself to splurge, I am vowing to make the most of it. Here's how:

  • It is a supreme dolloper: Dollop it over fresh or poached fruit, onto baked potatoes, or into soups—like this butternut one or any lentil situation you come up with.
  • Or fold it into lentils for a super-creamy, buttery take on these Genius lentils and serve them over greens.
  • Stir fat spoonfuls into a bowl of oatmeal or polenta—sweet or savory.
  • Crème fraîche serves as the tangy binder for this cold-weather red salad.
  • And it makes these mushrooms impossibly creamy. (They're just as good on toast as over the aforementioned polenta.)
  • It gives this cake tangy tenderness. If you want to make this cake now, you can sub in another fruit for the plums—oranges and/or orange marmalade would be delicious.
  • Crème fraîche brings buttery lightness to this cheesecake...
  • well as to this panna cotta.
  • Get fancy with it: Add fresh herbs, honey, Angostura bitters, spices, hot sauce, chopped preserved lemons...
  • And then spoon that flavored crème fraîche into egg coddlers or ramekins for creamy-as-heck eggs en cocotte.

What are your favorite ways to use crème fraîche? Share your ideas in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Widget
  • Felicia Massarsky
    Felicia Massarsky
  • Greenstuff
  • M
  • Sugartoast
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


Widget February 2, 2021
Just make your own with heavy cream and easy..I buy a qt. of cream,(not ultra pasteurized) divide in 3 glass pint jars and add about 3 tbs. buttermilk in each jar..cover shake keep in warm place for 24 hours to 36 until thick..refrigerate..I use it for almost anything that calls for can even whip it!
Felicia M. March 30, 2016
A dollop of creme fraiche on top of roasted applesauce is sour cream apple pie without the calories.
Greenstuff March 21, 2016
Mash up some perfectly ripe strawberries, and swirl in a little crème fraîche. The people I lived with in Belgium in the '70s did that every single noon meal of their short strawberry season.
M March 21, 2016
I'd probably use it like I use sour cream: flavour it up with herbs and salts, and use it instead of butter for creamy potatoes.
Sugartoast March 21, 2016
We add it to our cold rice pudding.
HalfPint March 21, 2016
I confess that I buy creme fraiche for a quick dinner of hot pasta, a generous spoon (or 2), and some fresh grated cheese (& maybe some lemon zest or minced herbs). A pseudo-alfredo, if you like.

Here's another quick "recipe" for creme fraiche: mix 1 part sugar with 3 parts creme fraiche or sour cream, & a few drops of vanilla extract. It makes a dreamy creamy fruit dip. The tarter the fruit, the better it is with this dip.