Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Smooth like buttah

Ever since I started blogging about a year ago, I've noticed several tutorials on butter making floating around the web. I always read them with interest, but didn't really plan on making my own. It's not any cheaper to make butter yourself, and it takes some patience, plus I like that store-bought butter is wrapped in paper that neatly marks each tablespoon-perfect for measuring when I want to bake.

After I made the husband's birthday dessert, I still had a ton of heavy whipping cream leftover (I forgot to check how much I'd need for his pie, so I just bought a quart container), which I didn't want to go bad. But after such a decadent dessert, I felt like we needed to lay off the sweets for awhile, so the cream continued to sit in my fridge. But then Joy the Baker poster a new butter making tutorial, and I decided to give it a whirl. I'd made whipped cream several times before, and butter is just a few stages past whipped cream, so I figured "why not?"

Oh my. Homemade butter is so smooth and creamy. Perfection. I was licking it off the spatula, the knife, the beaters. I was eating butter all by itself. I should probably make some rolls to smear it on.

Homemade Butter
Source: Joy the Baker
Printable Recipe

heavy whipping cream (I had about 1.5 cups)

Chill your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes prior to making the butter. This will help the cream evolve from liquid to whipped cream to butter faster. This is an optional step, so don't panic if you forget to do it. :)

Pour the cream into the bowl of your electric mixer. Fit the mixer with the wire whisk attachment and beat on medium.

The cream will begin to thicken and form peaks. You've reached the whipped cream stage. I really wanted to pour in some powdered sugar and eat it by the spoonful, but I restrained myself and kept mixing.

Keep mixing. It will feel like forever. You might wonder if your cream is ever going to morph into butter. If you're like me and BBQ'ing while making butter, you may worry that the BBQ smell is your mixer's motor beginning to smoke. Don't worry, it's not. Keep mixing.

Your whipped cream will begin to get thick and chunky. Slow the mixer down a bit to avoid splashing buttermilk everywhere. Keep mixing for about another minute.

You should have thick clumps and some cloudy water in the bottom of the bowl. Spoon the butter into a fine mesh strainer, dumping out any water left in the mixing bowl. Gently press the water out of the butter with a spatula. Push out as much water as you can and then return the butter to the mixing bowl.

Mix for another minute or two. The clumpy butter will transform into smooth, creamy, spreadable goodness. Return the butter to the strainer and dump out any extra water.

At this point, one of Joy's readers recommends kneading the butter in extremely icy cold water, dumping out the water when it gets cloudy. I tried this, but I couldn't keep my hands in that freezing water! I pulled it out, squeezed out the water and threw the butter back in the mixing bowl.

Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and mix on low to incorporate. Spoon the butter into a ziplock bag, squeeze out any extra air, and refrigerate up to two weeks.

Try not to eat by the spoonful.

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