Sunday, October 28, 2012

Making Butter

This morning I woke up early and made butter.

Yep. I woke up at 7AM on a Sunday.  If you know me at all, you'll know this does not happen - ever.  And I did it to make butter.

I'm just a little bit worried proud of myself.

Let's make butter then, shall we?

Okay.  So take however much cream you like and pour it in a big bowl.  I used a 300ml carton.  You're also definitely going to need an electric beater - unless you'd like to churn the cream by hand, in which case, good on you, go for it.

I am far too lazy a creature to ever do this by hand.  It takes less than 5 minutes with an electric mixer, even with a wonky broken one like mine.  Basically, you're over-whipping cream until you get something that looks like the photo above - butter and buttermilk, separated.

Then you have to wash it.  This involves straining the butter first in a fine sieve, then mashing and bashing it around in a bowl of water until the water runs clear.  This is not pictured because I didn't think my dad would appreciate my getting greasy butter fingers all over his camera.  And yes, you should use your hands, because well - you're making butter, okay?

Once the butter is washed, you can season/flavor it however you like.  I just added big flakes of sea salt to mine, but you can make herb butter, honey butter, berry butter, even cinnamon brown butter spread.  Go crazy.

I got this butter folding/mixing technique from Jamie Oliver on one of his 30 minute meal shows - throw the butter on a piece of parchment, flatten it, put on whatever seasoning you're using and then fold the butter on itself again and again until it's all well combined.

I think this is one of those make-yourself things you should definitely do at least once in life.  The taste of homemade butter is actually different to the ones you buy in stores - it tastes so much fresher and creamier.  And what can be more satisfying than making your own butter?  Hello, it's butter.  Just do it.

I wonder how many times I used the word 'butter' in this post.

Homemade Butter

Note: The amount of cream you use will depend on the amount of butter you want - I didn't want to make too much so I only used a small carton.

300ml whipping cream
Pinch of flaky sea salt

Beat the cream with an electric mixer until it separates and you can see little solid lumps of butter in a pool of buttermilk liquid.  Stop the mixer and drain the butter - save the buttermilk if you like - then put the butter into a clean bowl and wash it under tap water.  Gently knead and press the butter as you wash and do it until the water runs clean, anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Squeeze any excess liquid out from the butter and put it on a piece of parchment paper.  Flatten it out, then sprinkle on sea salt (or seasoning of your choice) and fold the butter in and onto itself until the seasoning is well distributed (use the parchment paper to do this to make life easier).  Serve, or put in the fridge to chill.

PS - on a semi-related note, anyone seen this movie??

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