We do pancakes on the weekend and we eat whatever fruit is in season on top. We've had a lot of blueberries, blackberries, and peaches on our pancakes this summer. Just recently, on the final weekend of summer, we topped them with mixed late-season raspberries and crème fraîche. All I can say is it's a good thing I didn't think of topping my pancakes like this at the beginning of the summer. It's not a low fat choice. But it is fabulous.
I make my own crème fraîche, which is a French-style cultured heavy cream. A little goes a long way and yes, it's not something you should really eat a lot of if you're trying to keep the fat in your diet to a minimum . . . but don't let that stop you. It's easy to make, super versatile, and a great ingredient to have around. The recipe doesn't make a super large quantity, and it keeps well so you don't need to use it up immediately. If you haven't made it before, I encourage you to give it a try.
How to use it? It's a lovey addition to a special breakfast -- on pancakes or mixed with fresh herbs and dolloped on an omelet. I also like to add a dollop to a bowl of curried lentils or bean soup. And I stir it into one of my favorite fall dishes, Poulet à la Fermière, which is a braised vegetable dish, for an instant sauce (the high fat content prevents curdling when used at high temps). Oh, and the holidays are coming. I'm certain you can find a use for it on your Thanksgiving table . . . baked leeks . . . pumpkin cheesecake . . . the list is endless.
makes about a pint
2 cups organic heavy cream (homogenized works best)
4 tablespoons cultured buttermilk
Warm the cream slowly in a saucepan over medium-high heat to 85 or 90 degrees (use a candy thermometer in the cream to monitor it). Transfer the hot cream to a glass container and stir in the buttermilk using a clean metal spoon. Stir until the buttermilk with well incorporated. Cover the container with a lid or plate and leave it at room temperature for 12 hours. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for two weeks or so.
I use a LeParfait clamp jar for my crème fraîche, and I've let it culture for up to 17 hours without any problem.