A couple of weeks ago we hosted a huge party. We fed and watered 50 people, all without using a paper plate or serviette or plastic cups or cutlery. A ton of food, plenty of drink and lots of laughs. It went off. There were no leftovers and minimal food waste so I was very impressed that all of my planning and hard work had paid off. Then this week, I spotted a bottle of cream in the fridge that should have gone on the table with the desserts. D’oh!
Whilst the cream still smelled sweet, it had actually been stored in the freezer and defrosted for the party so it was starting to get a bit of age on it. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to have a go at making some homemade butter. Talk about a runaway success! Within 10 minutes, I had a large ball of butter, made without barely lifting a finger. What once would have been hours of drudgery for prairie wives was but a few minutes work with the wonders of modern technology.
There secret is, there is no magic secret to making butter. It’s simply the agitation of the liquid until the solid fat molecules bind and the excess buttermilk is forced out. I didn’t use a special or specific type of cream, just standard thickened or whipping cream. I am not advocating for pasteurised (or not), homogenised (or not). I am an advocate for having a go with what ever you can to hand or would like to purchase. The only pre-requisite is that you should use full fat (normal) cream, not low fat because otherwise, what’s the point?
- Thickened (double) cream
- 2 cups iced water
- Sea salt (optional)
- Pour cream into the food processor. Turn on and run for several minutes. You may want to stop after the first minute to scrape down the sides.
- At first the cream will thicken, then become whipped. At around the 5 – 7 minute mark the cream will start to collapse on itself and rapidly form into butter particles, gradually clumping together. Buttermilk will separate and pool at the bottom of the bowl.
- Tip the butter into a strainer lined with muslin or a clean dish cloth and drain off excess buttermilk. Using your hand or a wooden spoon, push the butter pieces together, pressing out excess buttermilk. Allow to sit for a few minutes then press butter again to push out more buttermilk. Set aside buttermilk for another cooking purpose.
- Place ball of butter into a new bowl and pour 1/2 cup iced water over butter. Massage butter again to wash out the last of the diluted buttermilk. Pour off water, discard and repeat with another 1/2 cup of water. Continue until all water is used.
- The butter is now ready for use. If you are going to salt the butter, add a small pinch to the butter at this point and mix the butter to distribute the salt. A little salt goes a long way so have a taste before adding extra salt.
- Store homemade butter in a covered container in the fridge or, do as I did and form the butter into small butter pats, storing them in the freezer so they can be defrosted when needed.
Makes 2/3 of the volume of cream used
So, do you think you’re going to have a go?