Ask Niki: Fromage frais substitute

Q: I often can’t find fromage frais in my supermarket. What can I use instead?


A: Fromage frais is a fresh low-fat curd cheese. It is similar to cottage cheese but processed until the texture is smooth and free of lumps. Fromage frais is common in Europe and it’s used to add a creamy texture and taste to savoury dishes or in desserts like cheesecake and mousse. It is delicious served with fruit, and provides a healthier alternative to sour cream as a topping for jacket potatoes.

The only version of fromage frais that seems to be available here is ‘frûche’, a sweetened version, which comes in vanilla and a couple of fruit flavours. This is good for sweet recipes. As a substitute, try:

  • equal parts of cottage cheese (or Philadelphia extra-light cream cheese) blended with plain yoghurt until smooth
  • a thick, unsweetened Greek yoghurt
  • cottage cheese whizzed in the blender with a little trim milk, until smooth.

If you are using yoghurt-based alternatives in hot dishes, add at the last minute so it doesn’t curdle.

First published: Sep 2011

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