I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Your Own Butter

I saw an article in the New York Times recently about making your own butter. Of course I went nuts about the idea. If you don't get it you're not there yet and that's OK. I dove right in to make some. Start with a quart of heavy whipping cream and a Kitchen-Aid mixer.
Cover the bowl with a little plastic wrap if you ever want to be able to do this again. Here is an excerpt from an actual conversation about the process:

Me: I'm going to make my own butter.
Wife: NO! You're going to make a mess.
Me: No I won't, seriously, and it will be totally worth it.
Wife: After the whole root beer fiasco I am skeptical.
Me: That was some bomb-assed root beer, it was the best ever. It just exploded.

Beat over medium speed. It will first turn into soft peaked whipped-cream.
Soon hard peaks will form and it will look like what you think of as whipped cream.

Oooh, whats that yellow color that is starting to appear?
Hark! Soon the whipped cream is really thickening and starting to turn very yellow.
Its just 2 shakes of a monkey's tail and the butter separates from the butter milk.
Now you have to strain the buttermilk from the butter. You do this with a strainer and a bowl.

Now the butter must be washed. There will still be a bunch of buttermilk trapped in the butter that most sources say you must separate. To do this return the butter to the mixer. Add in some icewater, yes icewater. Stir for a little bit. The icewater will turn cloudy. Drain the icewater. Repeat with the icewater until it runs clear. Separate the butter into a fridge proof bowl. There will still be some water left in the butter and that will rise to the top and be drainable as the butter sits in the fridge.

Left: Butter Right: Buttermilk

At this point the butter can be used as is, or you can whip some salt in the butter for salted butter. Alternatively you can whip in some garlic for garlic butter, or cinnamon, or herbs or whatever suits your fancy.

I am going to make a point of not describing homemade butter to you. You need to discover it for yourself. Suffice it to say that it is worth it, otherwise I wouldn't spend my limited time making butter.

Here is something you can make with your homemade butter. The recipe is in another post on this site.
As you contemplate the majesty of homemade butter, I have an album to recommend for you. Check out Bruce Springsteen's The wild, the innocent & The E Street Shuffle.