Starting today, we’ll be getting a quart of fresh raw cream from our organic herd share – woohoo! This week’s batch hadn’t been in the house for five whole minutes before I had a pint of it in the food processor to become butter.
Making butter out of cream is ridiculously easy. If you don’t have a food processor, you can put it into a glass jar twice the volume of the cream and just shake it. It will eventually turn into butter, I promise.
Because I dislike shaking a jar, however, I took the easy way out and threw it into the food processor while I got some hard-boiled eggs underway. The first time I made my own butter, I still had the utterly awful, odious Black & Decker food processor, which was not worth the trouble and noise. With The Mighty Cuisinart, however, it’s just a few minutes’ time.
Here’s what I do (with badly-spaced photos and text, apologies – WP is not being kind to me today:)
- Throw X amount of heavy cream into the food processor and turn it on. Unload the dishwasher while it gets going.
- After a couple of minutes, it begins to look like whipped cream. Keep unloading the dishwasher.
- A few minutes more, and the whipped cream begins taking on a yellowish tinge and starts to look a little more crumbly. The processor blades are going through the cream at this point, while the cream remains relatively still.
- Soon after, almost as if by magic, the butterfat will begin rotating with the blades – we’re almost done!
- Suddenly, POOF! It’s butter. We have a few more steps before it’s done, though.
- Pour the contents of the food processor bowl through a seive over a bowl to catch the solids and preserve the buttermilk. You can culture the buttermilk, feed it to animals, or drink it. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of uncultured, plain old buttermilk, but some of my friends are.
- Place the butterfat into a bowl large enough to work with it – you’ll be smooshing it with a wooden spoon. The bowl should be big enough to let you tilt it sideways and work without fear of spilling the buttermilk we’ll be pressing out of the fat.
- Press the butter with the flat of the spoon, spreading it out, pressing, folding, pressing. Pour out the buttermilk as it gathers. Keep pressing until only a few drops are getting eeked out.
- At this stage, common advice is to “wash” the butter – run it under cold water, put it back into the bowl, and keep pressing until the only liquid coming out of the butterfat is clear water – not cloudy. This step will help the butter to keep longer without spoiling. Personally, I can take or leave the washing step. Today, I washed it once and called it good. Since this is going to be garlic butter, I know it’s not going to be around long!
- At this point, mix in your additions – salt to taste, garlic, herbs, spices, chives – whatever your little puddin’ heart desires. I used one of our new, favorite mixtures, Alden’s Mill House Garlic Lover’s Delight. It’s delish. Salting the butter will also help to preserve it – just add whatever you like to taste, making sure your ingredients are either cold or at room temperature.
- After mixing thoroughly, I packed our new little butter bell from Pantry Paratus full of the delicious, garlicky goodness. What a great little device! With water in the base, the bell creates a seal around the butter to keep it fresher longer, and it’s very handy to scoop from. We may end up needing more than one of these little guys for different sorts of butter.
- That’s it. Start to finish, it takes maybe 15 minutes tops. The hard-boiled eggs had just finished by the time I was done. So easy!
If you don’t have access to raw cream, you can make your own butter with heavy cream from the grocery store. I haven’t tried this, but folks in the know say not to use ultra-pasteurized cream. Naturally, organic heavy cream will be better for you, but is marginally harder to find.
This one little thing is a great step to taking control of your food – no hydrogenated oils, no petrochemicals, no preservatives. Just cream and whatever you put into the butter yourself.
Hard to beat!