i made butter! hear me roar!

waiting for butter

waiting for butter

how great am i?! i made butter! i feel so self sufficient! i wish it were a deserved sense of accomplishment that i feel, but it was way too easy for me to take credit for being awesome… see that picture of me? there, to the left… that’s how difficult making butter is. the short and simple of it:

step 1) take your mixer.

step 2) put cream into it and stand there until it turns into butter.

step 3) feel awesome and tell everyone about your butter.

i didn’t realize how easy it was until i saw this post on bodacious girl. if you don’t want to follow the link, i’ll just tell you that my instructions are going to be the same as hers. she is pretty bodacious for making her own butter.

yes, you can just go to the store and pay 2 dollars for some butter. but then you wouldn’t get to brag and feel like an amazing she-woman or he-man. you know, there may come a time when you need to make butter. it’s just something that everyone should know how to do, right? and in all seriousness, something that is important to me is understanding how food works, and where it comes from. it is about respecting the ingredients and work that goes into food making. it is important to me to recognize that there is someone behind the scenes actually making the food. -hopefully it’s a somebody making it and not a someTHING. being involved directly is the best way to understanding it.

back to the butter. so it took about 20 minutes, from start to finish. the result was a fresh, creamy, sweeter version of what the store bought brand had given me before. you can add your own stuff, too. before i put it away to store in the fridge, i added some chopped fresh rosemary and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt. you could add honey, maple syrup, crushed red peppers, garlic… the possibilities are endless. oh, and i forgot to mention that there is a secondary benefit to making your own butter: buttermilk. yes, what does not stiffen up and turn into butter separates itself into buttermilk to bake with!! do not throw it away, for the love of god!

without further delay, a recipe for butter.

ingredients:

cold organic non-ultra pasteurized heavy cream, with a high butterfat content (36-40%), from pastured cows

you can use as much as you want. i used a pint (16 fl oz), and it yielded 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of buttermilk.

on second or third speed setting of your kitchen aid, pour cold cream in. the first thing that will happen, is whipped cream.

beautiful whipped cream that you will want to throw sugar into and eat with a spoon. but don’t. just wait.

lift the whisk and scrape down the bowl and whisk. turn the thing back on and do some more waiting. the whipped cream will soon deflate and look unappetizing. i’m sure i’m not the only one out there who has ended up with this when i’ve over-beaten whipped cream (this is why i do it by hand now). it should get chunky and lumpy.

chunky cream... almost butter!!

chunky cream... almost butter!!

there will be a puddle of white forming in the bottom of the bowl, and some stiff yellow pieces beginning to cling to the whisk. it should also still be sticking to the sides of the bowl at this time, . when it gets really chunky, stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and whisk again and turn back on., at maybe speed 3 or 4. next thing you know, you’ll check it again in a second, and see butter. finally. it will be golden yellow, and very stiff. there will be about 1 cup of liquid (buttermilk) puddled in the bottom of the bowl, and 1 cup of butter stuck inside the whisk. so long as all of the solids are stuck inside the whisk, you are done. if not, you could do another scraping and cream it one more time for good measure.

so we’ve established what the butter should look like when it’s… well… butter. so now you have to ready it to eat. start by setting out a clean pyrex and a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. place sieve onto pyrex. scrape butter from whisk attachment to save every bit you can. pour butter and buttermilk over sieve. this will strain the buttermilk from the butter. don’t throw it away or i’m coming to your house to hit you over the head.

i have plans for this buttermilk.

i have plans for this buttermilk.

straining the butter from the buttermilk

straining the butter from the buttermilk

pour buttermilk (liquid) into glass jar. stick it in the fridge and make muffins with it tomorrow.with super cold water, rinse butter off and let it sit in the strainer for a while to dry off. if you want your butter to be flavored, now is the time to do it. i mixed in a few tsp chopped rosemary. you can add most anything you wish. a little salt, maybe a few tsp honey, dash of garlic, whatever. just sprinkle it all over the butter and smoosh it in with a fork.

now, with clean hands, squish the COLD butter into a tight ball. shove that butter ball into a clean jar. squish it down into the jar, getting as many air bubbles out as you can. pour cold water over it to cover the butter, screw the lid on, and stick it in the fridge. pour water off to use butter, and cover with cold water before replacing in the refrigerator.

yes, it all looks like a lot of steps. but it is all common sense stuff. it was really a fast and easy process, and look what i ended up with! for a $2 investment in organic heavy cream, i got 1 cup of organic junk free butter, and 1 cup of organic junk free buttermilk. you can’t beat that!

my beautiful butter, before straining and washing.

my beautiful butter, before straining and washing.

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