There are several crème fraiche substitutes that can be used in desserts, soups, salads or French condiment recipes. Crème fraiche is expensive and usually difficult to find; it is a rich and velvety thick cream. Creme fraiche substitute recipe blends that are similar in consistency and flavor are used quite often. “Fresh cream” that is made in the United States uses fermented pasteurized cream mixed with buttermilk. In France they use a similar method with unpasteurized cream and sour cream which produces a silky texture.
- Heavy cream and sour cream. This is a favorite crème fraiche substitute recipe because it is very similar with a velvety smooth texture and rich creamy taste. Whisk equal parts of heavy cream and sour cream together until fully incorporated. Thicken the blend by covering it with plastic wrap and storing at room temperature five hours to twelve hours.
- Buttermilk and whipping cream. You will be amazed at how much money you will save by using this in place of authentic crème fraiche. Blend thoroughly one cup of heavy cream to two tablespoons of buttermilk. Taste test before sealing the mixture tightly with plastic wrap. Store in a warm area for 12 to 24 hours. This can be refrigerated for several days.
- Mascarpone cheese. This is a sweet and rich Italian dessert cheese easily found in most grocery stores. The consistency is similar to a soft cheesecake. Mascarpone is a good substitute when a baking recipe calls for crème fraiche.
- Vegan cream. Blend together one part vegan cream cheese to three parts soy milk and a small amount of lemon juice. Use your favorite sweetener in dessert recipes and substitute soy with almond or rice milk.
- Clotted cream. This is normally found in many grocery stores, also called Devonshire cream. Clotted cream is considerably similar to crème fraiche and is routinely used in England as a breakfast spread or dessert topping.
- Cheese and yogurt. Combine one cup Neufchatel cheese with four tablespoons low fat yogurt. Blend until smooth. Spoon into a jar and tighten the lid. Store in a warm area for at least two hours.
- Mexican cream. Mexican crema is a thick and deliciously rich heavy cream that comes in a jar in the cheese or milk section of most grocery stores. It is a fabulous French creme fraiche substitute.