Fresh berries can certainly stand alone as a worthy dessert, but a dollop of homemade crème fraiche sends them over the moon!
PHOTO: EMILY HELLER
Crème fraiche is a creamy concoction with a texture and tang somewhere between yogurt and sour cream. It’s a delightful accompaniment to foods both sweet and savory. There are many different inexpensive strains of bacterial cultures you can buy online to culture your cream (try New England Cheesemaking Supply). If you purchase a commercial starter culture, follow the package instructions. Or you can start a batch with various store-bought ingredients, as long as they are unpasteurized. (The bacterial culture needs to be alive.) Once you’ve made one batch of crème fraiche, you can use it to culture each new batch. Yes, it’s that good — you’ll want to keep it going!
Fresh berries, halved or sliced
2 tbsp starter (unpasteurized buttermilk, crème fraiche or sour cream)
1 cup heavy cream
Fresh mint leaves
Sprinkle a little sugar over your berries, toss to coat, and refrigerate. Stir starter into the cream, cover, and let stand at room temperature for about 24 hours. Spoon your berries (which should be juicy by now) into individual bowls and top each with a dollop of crème fraiche, plus a few mint leaves.
Fresh and Local Spring Recipes
Tabitha Alterman is a Senior Associate Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. In spring, she digs making fresh butter, yogurt, and cheese with yummy, creamy milk from the cows and goats that thrive on the pastures of the nearby Hudson Valley.