Friday, June 17, 2011
This week's kitchen adventure was making homemade butter. Believe it or not this was not the first time I'd conquered the delightful dairy condiment, but I've never made it with an electric mixer. A little history: I used to work at a historic landmark called The Grove when I was in my late teens. I worked as a historical interpreter, all dressed up in period gear, and taught visitors about everyday life in the mid 1800s. My speciality was working in the home's kitchen and I actually learned alot about cooking working over a wood burning stove on those summer days, making everything from pies to chicken and dumplings. Suffice it to say I also made butter while I worked there but it was with a hand crank butter churn. The mixer is much faster.
So after making our homemade donuts this weekend I had almost a whole container of whipping cream left and didn't know what to do with it. I hate seeing things go to waste. This was a perfect opportunity to make butter since you really don't need any other ingredients except some cold water and salt if you want.
Ready to see how easy this is? First use whipping cream that has warmed to room temp. This will make it separate faster. Pour your cream into a stand mixer with whisk attachment or blender and turn it on. I mix mine on med/high but remember you'll need a splash guard with a stand mixer if you're going that high of speed. Now you just wait. First the cream will turn into whipped cream, great if you're making sundays. Don't turn back now butter is so close. You'll see the color of the cream actually change to a "buttery" yellow separate into a chunky creamy butter and watery buttermilk. Yep that's how you make buttermilk too.
Now the only step left is to wash the butter. If you don't, the buttermilk will cause your butter to go rancid much faster. Some people do this in the blender/mixer but I use cheese cloth. Spread your cloth open in the sink and pour the contents of the mixing bowl on top. The buttermilk will drain off. *Note - If you want to save and use the buttermilk, do this over a clean bowl to catch it.
Now gather up the cloth and squeeze out all the excess milk.
Open the cloth back up and kneed the butter under cold running water and squeeze it again in the cloth. Continue to do this until the water runs clear out of the butter. Tada you're done! You can also mix in some salt if you prefer your butter salted. Whipping cream will yield about half its amount in butter.
Wasn't that super easy? Now just put your butter into a clean container, refrigerate, and enjoy.