Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Butter Tutorial

Making your own butter is such an easy thing to do, and it tastes much superior to that bland stuff you buy in the store.  Think of the amazing combinations of herbs and butter you can create!  Garlic butter and rosemary, for instance, or perhaps mint and butter over crackers!

First, start with your raw milk. 

If it's sat for at least an hour the cream should have already floated to the top.  How much cream you'll have will depend on the cow's milk and the amount of fat (cream) is in the milk.  This milk is from Holsteins, which don't have as high a fat content as Jerseys.

Get your favorite ladle and carefully scoop out the cream, trying not to get milk into the cream. (It's not the end of the world if you get a bit of milk into the cream.  Just do your best.  You can console yourself later with a slice of bread and fresh butter.)

Pour the cream into a food processor or blender.  (Or put it in a jar with a lid and hand it to the child who's been annoying you the most with his ADD energy levels).

Turn on your appliance and walk away.  (Or tell Annoying Child to start shaking the jar and not to stop until it's dinner time.)  Don't worry if it takes awhile before you see any results.  (It usually takes my machine about 10-15 minutes). If you stop too soon you will having whipping cream.  RESIST THE URGE TO STOP TOO SOON "BY ACCIDENT" JUST SO YOU CAN HAVE SOME WHIPPING CREAM.
We must have self-control.  
We must have resolve and commitment.

We want butter, and you can commend yourself on your great restraint and moral fiber as you slather it liberally over toast.

When you start to see the cream curdle into yellowish lumps, you are free to stop the machine.  In the picture you can see the butter has solidified and has separated from the little bit of milk that ended up in the ladle.

At this point, you can add a bit of good salt (a culinary necessity, if you ask me) and whatever extra herbs you wish.  Give the blender/food processor a quick spin to blend the ingredients.

Plunk the entire concoction into a sieve (or cheesecloth if you are the type of person who has that sort of stuff on hand, in which case you would "place" instead of "plunk" your butter.  I prefer to plunk.  It's just who I am.) 

I'm so surprised the kids haven't found my sieve yet.  It is regularly requisitioned as a helmet in the War Against Evil Sisters.

Shake it around a bit to try to dislodge as much milk as possible.  Once it's as solid as you can get it, plop it out into your hands. 

Squeeze it and knead it as much as you can.  You want to try to get out all the excess whey and moisture trapped in the butter.  The whey is what causes the butter to go bad faster.

By the "whey" (heh heh) there is a horrible and disturbing reason why store bought butter lasts so long.  This is a happy blog though, so I will leave it to your imagination as to why the store bought Butter of the Undead never dies.

At this point, shape it into whatever form you like.

If you're not going to use it right away or you have a bit extra, wrap it up in saran wrap and label it.  You can freeze it for later use or stick it in the refrigerator.  Refrigerated home made butter lasts about a week or so. 

Now, it takes quite a bit of cream to make a small amount of butter, so I don't use the home made stuff for cooking, just for spreading on toast or waffles.  Your butter should have a lovely creamy flavor and a slightly "cheesier" strong taste than the insipid Undead Butter stuff.

Sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy!