20 May 2010

DIY Butter

So, I don't know if this can even really be called a "recipe." It's way too friggin easy.

Have you ever made your own butter? I have been saying for the better part of a decade that I would try, ever since I saw Emeril make butter on his show. But for some reason, I've just never done it. I officially have too much time on my hands, and it's glorious!

So, how do you turn this:

 (translation: Organic Whipping Cream, heat-treated, at least 30% fat)

into this: 
 (translation: super-deliciousness)

Here's what you need: 

Heavy Cream (this would probably work with light cream too, but come on, you're making butter. More fat = more butter my friend!) I used organic, as you can see above.

Large-ish sealable container, like a large mason jar (I used a leftover yogurt container, since we buy our yogurt in bulk. You want the available volume of the container to be at least 4 times the volume of cream you have. More space = more sloshability! (The importance of proper sloshability will become clear soon)

Ice water, about twice as much as your volume of cream, set aside.

Here's what you do: 

(Apologies off the bat for not having pictures of the process... it all came together SO much quicker than I expected that I never got a chance. I'll be making butter again soon though, considering my success today, so I'll post pics then)

  1. Let your cream warm up a bit.
  2. Pour the cream into your resealable container;  
  3. SHAKE!! Shake up and down at a moderate speed, maybe 1-2 shakes per second. 
  4. You'll hear a few things:
    • First, it will slosh around like the liquid it is. 
    • As you shake, it will stop sloshing so much, and get a little muffled. 
    • Eventually you will get to a point where it feels like it's not even shaking anymore (this all happened for me in about 2-3 minutes, about the length of one Missy Higgins song - which is what I was listening to to distract me from what I thought was going to be 10 minutes of sh-sh-shaking).
    • Don't get discouraged! After another 30 seconds to a minute of shaking your whipped cream (cause that's what you've got friends), you'll hear it start to loosen up, and get sloshy again. 
    1. Open up your container (if it's not see through - mine wasn't...). If you see beautiful yellow creamy chunks in whitish liquid, you've got butter! (If not, keep shaking - you'll get there).
    2. Pour off the liquid - this is true buttermilk. You can use it to soak chicken; some people like to drink it straight, or use it in cereal. Just don't throw it away! You can always use it for something!!
    3. Once you've strained off the buttermilk, put your butter back in the shaking container with a little of the water (about 1/3 of it). Close it up and shake again. Up and down will allow the butter to break apart and get rinsed off - this is the point. It's called "washing" your butter. Essentially, it's removing all traces of buttermilk from your butter, which will go rancid before your butterfat does, and can ruin your butter.
    4. Drain off the water, and continue to "wash" it until your water comes out relatively clear. At this point, you want to strain your butter with some cheesecloth, and squeeze to get as much water out as you can.
    5. Pack it into a butter container, ramekin, or roll it in some wax paper. You could even make up a compound butter at this point, since it will be nice and soft. Feel free to add a little salt; it will help to preserve the butter. 

    Just in case you need more inspiration:

     MMMM, oh yeah.....


      1. Wow that looks amazing! I'm going to have to try that. I always assumed it would be long and drawn out but that looks like it would be fun.


      2. I used a fairly small amount (I think 200 ml) so it was completely manageable. Have fun with it!


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