~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade Sour Cream/Creme Fraiche...using Kefir Grains

Homemade Sour Cream/Creme Fraiche...using Kefir Grains. I made this recipe during the summer months, and have just been able to post it. This summer has been quite busy... so even though I've managed to post recipes... a few of them have been postponed a bit. This is one of them...
I've been using my kefir grains a lot lately...just love the taste of homemade kefir. We'll drink the kefir plain most days... but I also love using the kefir in recipes that call for buttermilk. Since I had finished my milk for making kefir, I needed to sort of store my grains until next time. And just when I was about to put them in the freezer, I remembered that I had some whipping cream in the fridge. I had originally bought it to make something else and never got the chance to use it. But then an idea crossed my mind, why not place the kefir grains in the cream...and experiment:)? What could possibly hurt... I should be able to make some sour cream/creme fraiche, no? The thought to add the kefir grains in the cream actually seemed like a very doable idea to me....
I've made creme fraiche before, and since kefir grains have quite a bit of beneficial bacteria, I knew it would probably work very well. So I ended up making sour cream/creme fraiche... It was super easy to do and the result was oh-so-delicious!
In case you have some kefir grains, and have never tried making homemade sour cream/creme fraiche, then you might want to give this a try. Hope you enjoy...

Note: If interested in making regular Kefir... see my Homemade Kefir

Another idea I thought to share....in case you you don't have heavy cream or want to make a lighter version:
  • You can make a thick yoghurt(which can be used as sour cream) by simply draining the kefir. Just make the Homemade Kefir and leave it on the counter for 18 hours or until thickened...then refrigerate for another day until the kefir has thickened a bit more...to an almost yoghurt consistency. Place a clean, thin dish towel in a bowl ( or a couple of coffee filters, or 2 cheese cloths) and pour the kefir on top and allow it to drain naturally... don't press it down. Allow to drain in the fridge for 24 hours ...or until thickened. You'll have quite a bit of whey accumulating, but the drained kefir will be lighter(in calories) than when using heavy cream....and it tastes just as good.
  • You can see how to drain yoghurt (except you'll be draining the kefir)... HERE.
  • Below is a picture of the drained kefir.

You will need:

1 TBS kefir grains
1 cup heavy cream

1. In a glass jar/container add kefir grains.
2. Pour heavy cream over kefir grains and place lid on top.
3. Let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours...or until thickened. Remove grains...the grains will have floated to the top... you can just scoop them out when the sour cream has thickened.
4. Refrigerate. It will thicken in the fridge even more.


Mihaela said...

Hi Ellie, I just ordered kefir grains last night from amazon.com, and I can't wait to make some, and now I'll try to make creme fraiche too, thanks for sharing!

Ellie said...

Mihaela, I am glad you ordered some grains...I think you will enjoy the kefir... noticed it works best with a pastuerized whole milk. NOT ultra-pastuerized.
Hope you are having a great day!

Speranta said...

Ellie ,ce idee grozava !mereu ma suprinzi cu retete interesante!

Nu stiam ca pot sa folosesc Kefir
pentru "creme Fraiche "

Multumesc pentru tot ce postezi .Imi plac!
O zi binecuvantata iti doresc!

Ellie said...

Speranta, Da, este foarte usor de facut o smantana sau iaurt cu kefir. Are un gust nemaipomenit:)...foarte bun. Merit incercata...nu este greu de facut. Si cand ai nevoie de niste smantana pentru sarmalute... este bine venita:)
O zi placuta!

Anonymous said...


COuld you make this recipe with 1tbs of kefir instead of with kefir grains? I was going to make creme fraiche with buttermilk, but don't have it.

What would be the difference between using kefir vs kefir grains?

Looks good!


Ellie said...

Hi Liz, Yes, you could use kefir liquid to make creme fraiche(I actually have a separate post in the recipe index)... and you could also use buttermilk, or even yoghurt with plenty of bacteria. I'd probably use about 2 TBS kefir liquid instead of 1 TBS.

The kefir grains(made up mostly of beneficial yeast and bacteria) actually make the kefir liquid... SO the resulting kefir has some of the beneficial bacteria/yeasts from the the grains...which can/and is needed to ferment the cream to produce creme fraiche. But the kefir grains is purely yeast/bacteria.... just a more concentrated form.

I find the kefir grains work faster on the sour cream/creme fraiche... but using kefir or buttermilk will work just as well. It just might take a bit longer to thicken.

I hope this helps:)

Unknown said...

Hi, Ellie, I live in Canada and Unfortunately they don't sell heavy cream here (i've always wondered WHY IN THE WORLD NOT?!) So could I use liquid whipping cream instead?

Ellie said...

Ioana, Well, I don't see why not. The only difference with the heavy cream is that it has a bit more fat. You probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. Even though I haven' tried it with the Canadian version of cream, I don't see why it wouldn't work... just try to find a cream that isn't ultra pasteurized if possible. Hoping you'll have success and be able to enjoy it:).