Thursday, May 6, 2010

butter 101

WOW!!!...It's been..can you guess?...yes, CRAZY around here!!

We've been visiting farms, playing in the HOT weather, having vein laser surgery, and last night discussing a move that would have happened on Saturday (yeah, in like 2 days) but we decided not to accept it. (Story about that later!)

But for's makin' butter time!

So for the last...long butter has not been consistantly turning out. Sometimes the butter would churn, sometimes not! It was soooooo frustrating!! But now, I think I found a few 'tricks of the trade' that makes makin' butter a whole lot easier!

1)Have a powerful mixer/blender. Thanks to my Gma and Gpa for sending me a VITA-MIX (awesome!) my cream goes from cream to butter in less than a MINUTE!!

2) Use cream that is a least a few days old.

3) Pour the cream off the top of the milk into a seperate jar and let sit at least overnight again to get it seperated from any milk that might have snuck into the jar too! That way you know you just have the thick cream!

Ok, so here is what I do....

1)Pour the cream into the blender and blend on high for about a minute...maybe longer if you don't have a very powerful blender. You will know when it seperates when you see yellow chunks of butter floating on top. If you use cream from the store (which I don't recommend since it's been cooked to the hilt depleting it of all essential enzymes and nutrients) it won't be as yellow, might be white depending on the cream you use.

2)Pour the contents of the blender into a strainer that has been placed over a bowl. This will leave the butter in the strainer and let the liquid (buttermilk) drain into the bowl.

3) Lift the strainer off the bowl and give the butter ball a good rinse under cold water while kneading it a little. You want to keep rinsing the butter until all of the buttermilk is gone. You know when that happens when the liquid squeezed out of the butter is clear. (See the little drops of buttermilk on the butter in the above pic? That is what we want to rinse off)

4)Get a bowl of cold water to drop the butter in to rinse it some more. Just squish the butter ball around to get it 'cleaned' from the buttermilk. (You don't HAVE to get all the buttermilk off if you will be using the butter within a couple days but if you want to store it in the freeer or have it last longer than a couple days, you'll want to rinse it...otherwise it will start to taste 'cultured'...which cultured is very good for you, in fact most people who make their own butter make cultured butter by leaving the cream out on the counter for up to 24 hours before they make butter. Some say too that it churns better if it's room temperature. I just prefer sweet cream butter!

5)Once you have your butter ball all rinsed, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and throw it in the freezer or put it on a plate or in a bowl for immediate use! If you store it in the fridge it will get rock hard so I take mine out a few minutes before I'm going to use it so it's softened. Otherwise I've heard if you mix some butter with olive oil and put it in the fridge it will stay a soft consistency! I haven't tried that yet but plan on it so I will let you know how that turns out!

6) Next, you can strain the buttermilk to get the rest of the little butter chunks out that might have slipped through the strainer.

7) Pour the buttermilk into a jar using a little funnel and use it in any recipe that calls for buttermilk or add to smoothies!! So yummy and so nutritious!

And then you have a jar of buttermilk and a nice slab of butter! Yum!


Anonymous said...

A Butter Bell Crock (sold on Amazon) will allow you to enjoy soft, spreadable butter 24/7, without it getting rancid or rock-hard. I LOVE mine! Thanks for the post on butter-making!

Dawn said...

Thanks for the tip! I checked them out and it definitely sounds like something I will look into getting!! Do you make your own butter or do you use butter from the store? Just curious. Thanks again for the tip!!

Anonymous said...

I do both. I used to always buy, now I generally make it. I got my Butter Bell as a "grab bag" gift at Christmas--no one else wanted it, so I took it out of curiosity. Now you couldn't pry it out of my hands!