Monday, March 7, 2016

Homemade Creme Fraiche in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is hugely popular these days. It's quite interesting to me. Pressure cookers have been around since grandma's day. Slow cookers have been around quite a long time, too.

Electric pressure cookers are a little newer, but until the Instant Pot came along, they weren't all that popular.

The Instant Pot, however, has a cult-like following. People name them. There are Facebook groups devoted to the pot. It's ... amazing.

37 Cooks, a group blog I belong to, is doing a challenge using the Instant Pot, so I've been experimenting with different things. While I'm completely comfortable with both stovetop and electric pressure cookers, the Instant Pot is indeed different.

For one thing, it has a LOT more buttons. It has buttons for steaming and for soup and for meat and for yogurt.

And it has a freakishly friendly beeping sound. It's cute rather than annoying.

When I saw the yogurt button, I knew I had to use it to make ... creme fraiche.

You didn't see that coming, did you?

If you've never used creme fraiche, it's a lot like sour cream or Mexican crema or similar productus. If you're looking for creme fraiche at a grocery store, it's likely to come in a small tub for a high price - if you can find it at all.

I make creme fraiche quite often, even when I don't actually need it for something specific, because I know I can find a use for it. You see, I make it whenever I have leftover buttermilk and leftover heavy cream at the same time. Which happens a lot more often than you'd imagine.

As I've experimented with different ways of making it, I've found that it doesn't need to be heated - leaving it at room temperature overnight is sufficient.

On the other hand, if I put it somewhere a little bit warm, like near the stove when I'm cooking, or in the oven with the light on (right next to the yogurt jars that might be in there), it seems to work better. So of course I had to try making creme fraiche using the yogurt setting in the Instant Pot. Of course.

Creme Fraiche

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk

Place the cream and buttermilk in a jar. Stir.

Place the jar on a rack in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set the cooker for yogurt and 6 hours. When the time is up, taste the creme fraiche. It will be a lot looser than after it's chilled, but taste for tartness. If you want it more tart, cook for an additional 2 hours or more.

Refrigerate the creme fraiche.