Making creme fraiche is very easy and, once you taste the magic of homemade sour cream, you’ll have a hard time not repeating this esoteric exercise. Sure it takes a couple days, but the effort is minimal and the payoff is marvelous.
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup crème fraîche*
- Heat oven to 225° F. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium in a large bowl until foamy, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form, about 1 minute more. Slowly add ¾ cup of the sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form, 4 to 6 minutes more.
- Spread the meringue in a 10-inch circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack until firm and dry, 2½ to 3 hours. Turn the oven off and let the meringue cool in the oven, 1½ to 2 hours (or overnight).
- Toss the strawberries, lemon zest, a pinch of salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the berries are juicy, 20 to 30 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream and crème fraîche until soft peaks form.
- Top the meringue with the cream, followed by the berries.
*recipe for crème fraîche
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
Combine cream and buttermilk in a glass jar. Cover tightly with cheesecloth (or any breathable material) and let sit at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees F for 24 hours. Stir, screw on lid, and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.