Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making butter!

Don't be intimidated by the thought. Put that image of me sitting out on the porch using a butter churn out of your head. No churn necessary. This took place in my kitchen while the kids ate breakfast. We start with a pint of organic heavy whipping cream.

Pour the cream into a bowl (use a standing mixer or if you're like me and no longer have a standing mixer due to a certain hurricane, use a regular bowl and a hand mixer) and get your mixer going. If you're using a standing mixer, you can do other things, this takes about 10 mins. If you're standing there watching in amazement, once you get to the whipped cream stage you start to wonder how this is gonna end up as butter. Fight the urge to stop and eat all the yummy whipped cream. Keep whipping.

I tell ya, it happens all of a sudden. Liquid ("buttermilk") starts flinging all over the place as butter clumps up. Pour the "buttermilk" off (reserve if you like) and beat a little longer, more buttermilk will seperate. Pour off. You want to remove as much "buttermilk" as possible to prevent your butter from going rancid. Pour some cold water into the bowl with your butter and knead out the "buttermilk." The water will cloud as the buttermilk is kneaded out. Rinse and repeat. At this point you're done. You have some lovely unsalted fresh butter.
But why stop there? Salted butter? Sure, add approximately 1/4 tsp. per 4oz of butter, beat or knead it in. Herbed or garlic butter? Add a clove of finely minced garlic and/or your favorite herbs. What about some cinnamon butter to go on those muffins you made for breakfast? Add cinnamon to taste.
Storage: if you have a french butter bell, use that. I don't have one, yet, lol. Because I'm not doing anything fancy with my butter this time, I just double wrapped it in pastic wrap and put it in the fridge. If you'll be using the butter for guests, put it in a piping bag with a star tip and pipe out individual amounts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Pop that into the fridge or freezer to firm up, then seal in a container. Butter can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Using one pint of cream, I ended up with 8oz of butter and 3/4 C "buttermilk."

Who here is wondering why I keep putting buttermilk in quotes? Well, take a swig. It will NOT taste like the buttermilk you buy at the store. Reason being, cream that is used to make butter in the traditional way is soured. As the cream sours, acids build up that aide in the churning process. The acids help the butter globules stick to one another. Since we're using electric mixers to churn for us, we don't need the aide of the acids.
What we're left with is more akin to whole milk. You can turn your "buttermilk" into a similar version of the cultured we buy in stores by adding a bit of lemon juice, although it still won't be quite the same. I, on the other hand, did what I felt my Mom would do: I drank it.

1 comment:

Smoochiefrog said...

I am SO going to have to try this! A pint of whipping cream is so much cheaper than a pound of butter.

Thanks for sharing!!!!