The first time I’d ever heard of Crème fraîche was when we lived in Norway at “Qualitative Camp.” The chef at the hotel made this amazing fish stew (I know, it sounds gross but it was absolutely to die for) using orange juice and crème fraîche. It is richer and a tad bit less “biting” than sour cream. I instantly fell in love.
The last time bought some was at central market in Austin, TX, though, I’m pretty sure you can get it in most metropolitan areas.
Then a few weeks back our neighbor arrived for a chili dinner with a brand new container of crème fraîche in tow. Our local dairy farm/operation Snowville Creamery had JUST started making it. OH was I EXCITED! It was just as good as I remembered it… probably better in fact b/c it was locally produced.
I decided scalloped potatoes would be the very best option for testing out the deliciousness that is crème fraîche.
And it was JUST that. Delish!! Seriously, it’s not healthy, but it is amazing. Oh, and the gouda was the perfect touch!
- 4 Tbsp organic butter
- 2 heaping spoonfuls flour
- 1 pint organic 1/2 & 1/2
- 16 oz creme fraiche (I used snowville creamery, you could certainly use sour cream as a replacement)
- 1 to 1 1/2 c. snowville skim milk, divided
- pepper (and a TINY bit of salt) to taste
- 3 lbs potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced (I used 1 lb traditional baking potatoes & 2 lbs of a smaller mixed bag that included red and purple potatoes. I did not peel the smaller potatoes for time)
- 3 c. diced ham (I used smoked ham that I pulled out of the freezer from Thanksgiving)
- 1/2 c. shredded gouda cheese, organic
- 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
Pre heat oven to 350.
Peel baking potatoes & slice using a mandolin or a food processor (or if you’re really ambitous, your hands/knife). Mine were about 1/4 in thick. Dice ham into bite sized pieces. Toss with potatoes & set aside.
Shred both cheeses and set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt better. Add in flour and whisk until flour is fully incorporated for 1-2 min. Then SLOWLY stream in the half & half little by little stopping intermittently to let the liquid absorb. Stir continuously through this process. Once all of the half & half is incorporated, the mixture might still be a bit thick. Add in the creme fraiche & stir. At this point, I added about 1/2 c. of milk to thin out the mixture just a bit. It was about the consistency of pancake batter. Salt & pepper to taste.
Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add in 1/2 potato/ham mixture & top with 1/2 cream mixture. Then repeat. At this point, my mixture looked a little too thick. The potatoes weren’t fully covered with the creamy mixture, so I added in about another 1/2-3/4 c. of skim milk to cover the potatoes. Top with the shredded cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil & bake at 350 for 1 hour. Turn heat up to 375, remove the foil & bake for another 30 min or until potatoes are fully cooked & the top is browning & bubbly.
Let sit for 3-5 min before serving.
Bad bad food blogger photo below. This is what happens when I am lazy with my photography! 🙂