Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Butter


When I think of making butter, I think of big wooden barrels and paddles and head scarves. Clearly I read one too many Little House on the Prarie type books as a kid. I had never given much thought to how butter is made today. It's just one of those things that Happens. The way things like hot dogs happen, you don't have any idea what all is required to create a hot dog (and you're probably happier that way) you just eat them.

And then I saw this post and I about fainted. Ten minutes of mixing, a little kneading, and homemade butter? Melt in your mouth, make flavored butters, butter? I was all over that.

Makes: 13 tbsp butter

2 cups heavy whipping cream

POUR whipping cream into stand mixer fit with whisk attachment*
MIX on low until cream begins to thicken
MIX until the cream clumps into butter and the buttermilk begins to separate
DECREASE SPEED to low to prevent flying buttermilk

POUR contents of mixing bowl into strainer
PRESS the butter to remove as much liquid as possible
RETURN to the mixer
MIX on medium speed, allowing more buttermilk to separate

FILL a small mixing bowl with ice water**

POUR contents of mixing bowl into strainer (again)
PRESS the butter to remove as much liquid as possible

PLACE the butter in the bowl of ice water
KNEAD, allowing the buttermilk to come out of the butter into the water
REPLACE water as needed and continue kneading until water remains clear


My Thoughts
1. This is easy, easy, easy. And tasty. Just think of all the additions--garlic butter, salted butter (with sea salt), herbed butters...the list continues on.

2. We only kneaded once. The hubby was in charge of this part of the operation and was not a fan of the "no pain, no butter" philosophy. It tasted fine, but won't last as long as if we had kneaded it until the water was clear. We used most of it the same day, so it really wasn't an issue for us.

*In this case, you really do need a stand mixer. Doing this by hand will take you right back to the prairie days. Probably a really good workout. Going to take a lot longer than 10 minutes though.

**So cold it hurts. No pain means buttermilk still in your butter.

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