Making butter is quite easy: heavy cream needs to be shaken or beaten to a point where the buttermilk and butterfat separate. This can be done in an old-fashioned churn, by shaking the cream vigorously in a jam jar for about 30 minutes (See my last post about a butter kit I purchased), or by the easiest method–I am happy to share, a stand mixer. Just don’t leave it unattended as the separation of butterfat and buttermilk happens instantly within 20 minutes time.
Preparation time 10 minutes
Makes about 2 1/2 cups butter and 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
5 cups heavy cream ( I used organic)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1. Remove cream from fridge 1 to 2 hours before you want to make the butter so it is at room temperature.
2. Pour cream into the bowl of the stand mixer with the K-beater (the whisk attachment used for heavy beating or whipping) attached. Beat on medium speed. Keep watch as it will suddenly separate into lumps of butter and a pool of buttermilk. Strain off the buttermilk into a jug and chill until needed. You can drink it or use it to make buttermilk scones and whole wheat soda bread.
3. Put the lumps of butter into a colander and with the cold tap running, gently squeeze and knead to remove excess buttermilk–you must do this or the butter will go rancid very quickly. You can also use butter pats if you have some, to press out the liquid in the same manner.
4. To make salted butter, add a scant 1/4 teaspoon salt and knead in thoroughly.
5. Wrap in wax paper.
Unsalted butter keeps for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator; salted butter for up to 1 week; both can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Mash 1/2 cup (1 stick) with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar. Shape and wrap in wax paper; chill or freeze until needed. Great on toasts, pancakes and waffles!
Mash 1/2 cup (1 stick) with 2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint, tarragon, or chives (I used Herbes de Provence, alongside some French Sea Salt, as pictured). Shape and wrap in wax paper; chill or freeze until needed. Cut into 1/2-inch thick disks and melt on steaks, pork, lamb chops, chicken and fish.
Mash 1/2 cup (1 stick) with 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley, 6 anchovy fillets, 1 finely chopped shallots and the juice of half a lemon. Shape and wrap in wax paper; chill or freeze until needed. Cut into 1/2-inch thick disks and melt on steaks, pork, lamb chops, chicken and fish.
All of these butter variations are also simply great with French bread/baguette (as pictured)–gcc
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