Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homemade Butter

I made butter! Why? Because what else is there to do at midnight when you can't sleep? And why not? Yeah I could buy it at the store like I always do, and I will probably keep doing...but, I had some heavy whipping cream leftover from the Zuppa Toscana I made this week. Organic heavy whipping cream that is going to have a second life as delicious butter!

I've read quite a few tutorials for making butter, even some that are made by shaking a jar of cream. Seriously. Not just a little shaking, but vigorous shaking for about ten minutes. You could make it that way if you want a workout.

So, let me teach you how to make butter. Even if you'll never make it again, you really just have to try it. Plus, you can whip in some honey, herbs, sun dried tomatoes, cinnamon & sugar... whatever suits your fancy!

What you'll need:

Heavy whipping cream (about 2 cups or more, you can make as much as you want)
A stand mixer (or hand mixer will do)
A medium sized bowl

Start by getting your heavy cream to room temperature. It doesn't quite have to be room temp, but you don't want it as cold as it is in the fridge. I just poured my cream into a glass and then put inside anther glass with warm water, and let it sit for about ten minutes.

Then, pour your cream into your stand mixer, or bowl if you're using a hand mixer.

I made 2 batches using my Magic Bullet. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS! I didn't allow for the first batch to mix long enough (you'll see pics..), and the 2nd batch was THE END of my Magic Bullet. I ended up having to shake the jar to finish the butter. Yeah...picture me in my kitchen, shaking vigorously for about 5 minutes straight.

Anyways, using your whisk attachment, turn your mixer on high. You are going to mix for at least 3 minutes straight. Longer if you are using a hand mixer. Sorry, I don't have good pics of the mixing process.

When you think you are done mixing, you are not! Keep mixing. And don't get distracted by the fact that you just turned liquid cream into whipped cream...pretty cool. (This is the point where the Magic Bullet died and I had to start shaking)

What you are doing is separating the butter from the buttermilk. You will start to see liquid in your bowl. Once it looks like this, you can stop mixing. Yours will probably look more crumbly because of the whisk attachment. (Remember, I had to shake mine...)

That's your butter right there! But you aren't done yet. The next steps are crucial to keeping your butter fresh for about a week. Pour the buttermilk out into a cup (you can save it and use it for pancakes or red velvet...anything).

Now, stick some ice and water in the bowl. I recommend doing this part in the sink. You are going to clean the butter with some ice cold water. The water should be so cold that you can barely keep your hand in it. My bowl looks dirty because this was the second batch.

Knead your butter in the water. You are trying to make sure all of the buttermilk gets out so you can avoid your butter from smelling like sour milk in a day or two. You will have to dump out the water, and add more water and ice. Keep doing this until the water runs clear (or pretty clear).

The butter will be cold so it should stick together like play dough in eater. Just smash it against the bottom of the bowl, flip it around, squeeze it into a ball, whatever you need to do to get the water clear.

Oh, I almost forgot, only put one hand in the bowl when cleaning the butter. You need a clean, dry hand to get more ice and turn on the faucet. With the first batch, both of my hands looked like this...I had to wash them about 5 times to get all the butter off.

Once you are done, your butter will look like this! It should be pretty yellow and kind of hard (because it's cold).

Notice a big difference from my first batch, which is lighter in color because I didn't whip it enough, so I didn't get all the buttermilk out.

Then stick it in a jar or air tight container. Will keep in the fridge for about a week! You might want to add in a bit of sea salt, or other stuff if you want flavored butter.

Go ahead, make some toast and try it out...

PS: You don't have to keep butter in the fridge if you have a french butter keeper. They are pretty cool because you can store the butter on the counter top without spoiling of melting. I've always wanted to get one. Check them out here.

I hope you enjoyed the butter!

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