April 3, 2011

Homemade Butter

I had a little extra time and what did I do with it? Made butter of course. It is not my first attempt at making butter, but shaking it in a baby food jar at my daughter's 4th grade history field-trip shouldn't really count.
It seemed like the perfect next step to take after learning to make fresh cheese. And now I can use the buttermilk by-product to make my next batch of cheese! Or I might just have to make some buttermilk biscuits or pancakes instead.

I followed the easy recipe and instructions found on the OneGreenGeneration blog, and had great luck the first time. I am trying to find sources for organic heavy cream, but made my butter with regular pasteurized heavy whipping cream. All you need to make this great butter is a pint of the cream and a few ordinary kitchen tools.

Pour the cream into the small mixing bowl and whip on high speed for 5-7 minutes. My butter was ready at about the 7 minute mark. Use a towel to keep the spatter down, and scrape the side of the bowl occasionally as you check the progress of your butter.

This is about the five minute mark of the whipping. Soon after this stage the liquid started to separate from the butter solids.

The next step is to empty your bowl through a sieve into a larger bowl that will catch the buttermilk. Then you need to rinse the butter solids under cool water to make sure no more buttermilk is in it. Then press and stir the butter in a bowl to incorporate the solids and also get any remaining moisture out of the butter.

Now you have a great tasting butter without all the added salt and preservatives. Enjoy as is, in recipes or add herbs and other flavorings to make some delicious compound butters. After I made my butter, my daughter sent me a link to a wonderful blog article about compound butters and I thought I would give it a try. Ashley your recipes are wonderful and I will try more of them as my garden continues to waken. For those adventurous types that like to experiment in the kitchen, don't forget to plant a few delicious herbs in your garden for just such spur-of-the-moment joy.

Because my herbs are just starting to emerge from their winter sleep, I tried the honey and lavender butter. I have many lavender plants in my yard, so I had a supply of buds from last year to use and still some special Tuscan honey from our trip to Italy last year. Mmmm.... the taste is heavenly. Maybe I need to make some buttermilk scones to go with the lavender butter!

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