Yesterday I was making butter (if you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen it!) when it occurred to me that I haven’t written about that yet.
Now, when I say I made butter, it’s not entirely from scratch. I didn’t milk the cow, skimming the cream from the fresh milk. I bought a carton of cream from the supermarket. Really, all the hard work was done by the dairy farmer (and the cow), my part is easy!
You can use pure cream or thickened cream for this, although thickened cream of course has additives. But it will have a heck of a lot less additives than the margarine you may have in the fridge.
*Important* – You just can’t use light or low fat cream. Check the bottle – it will say not suitable for whipping. And that’s what we’re going to be doing with it.
And if you ever see bottles of cream marked down, this is a great way to use them 🙂
The bottle on the left is marked down thickened cream, on the right is (full price) pure cream. They are both 600ml.
Pour your cream into your electric mixer, and start whipping. And keep on whipping.
You can, of course, use a handheld electric mixer, or even a completely non-electric whisk. You will also develop nicely toned arms at the same time! For this job, I am more than happy to drag out the big mixer…
First up, you get -surprise, surprise – whipped cream! Don’t stop – keep going!
It depends on how fast you have your beaters going , but I’ve found that at around 15 minutes the cream starts separating. You can see liquid pooling
And there’s your butter! But you’re not quite done yet. Next you need to drain off the whey, or buttermilk.
Line a bowl with a clean cloth, I use a clean kitchen chux. Scoop out the butter and buttermilk into the chux, and let it drain.
Gather up the sides of the chux around the butter and squeeze all the liquid out. Don’t throw the liquid away!
It’s very important then to rinse your lump of butter under cold water. Keep it wrapped in the cloth, and squeeze the water through it. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Removing all the buttermilk from the butter will keep your it fresher for longer. This is why you can use short-dated cream to make butter, and not have it go off quickly.
But the buttermilk is still good to use. Add it in your milkshakes or smoothies. Use it in your baking. Many recipes call for buttermilk, but you can also substitute it for plain milk. It will make your pancakes or pikelets, cakes and slices light and fluffy. And it can be frozen if you can’t use it straight away.
So, what did I get from 600ml of cream?
As you can see, I ended up with about 230g of butter, and around 1 cup of buttermilk.
You can leave it that, but you know how hard it is to spread pure butter straight from the fridge? We can fix that! Put your butter back in your mixer and start beating again, this time slowly drizzling in some olive oil (or your preferred oil type). You’ll have to experiment with how much is required, but it’s not too much. Maybe 1/4 cup.
You can also add some salt. Or go all out and make flavoured butter with garlic and/or herbs, or whatever else you choose!
I used some of the buttermilk to make pikelets for afternoon tea. Topped with some of the butter, and some homemade plum jam, they were delicious! And plenty left over to go in the school lunch box 🙂
The rest of the buttermilk I used in these chocolate cupcakes. I substituted it for the plain milk that the recipe called for. They will be frozen, also for school lunchbox treats.
If you haven’t made butter before, you really should give it a try. It is very easy to do, tastes great, and you know exactly what is in it.
I know many of you have made butter. Do you have any tips I’ve missed?
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