Sunday, July 29, 2007

butter me up

A few weeks back, the New York Times had an article on how easy (& tasty) it was to make butter. I was very intrigued over how such a simple process could result in such a wonderful, creamy product. In our household, we try not to consume too much butter throughout the week but I would much rather eat real, fresh butter over chemically altered, full of preservatives, low fat margarine on my toast any day. We're all about whole foods and moderation and so this recipe really appealed to the Martha Stewart in me.

After doing some research on the topic, I learned that in order make a more flavorful pro-biotic butter the cream would need to be cultured. It sounds complicated but it's super simple. Take some yogurt, mix it in with the cream and let it sit on the counter for about 18 hours. Once the 18 hours are up, you'll have a mixture the consistency of creme fraiche - thick and rich. Chill it for a few hours and in no time you'll be ready to make butter.

Pour the chilled cream mixture in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Start it on a medium-low setting and be patient. After about 5 minutes or so, the cream will separate into butter milk and milk solids.

Once you get to this stage, you're just about done. Strain the butter and wash it a few times in cold water (that will help prolong the shelf life). And that's it, you're ready to enjoy the sweet, fresh taste of real butter. At this point, we added some fleur de sel to get salted butter.

I promise you, it's like nothing you've ever had before and it'll be hard to go back to the overpriced, no taste, grocery store variety.


Andreea said...

hm, maybe it is the new in thing. have been reading about home made butter around here as well. definitly sounds delicious

Luke said...

I will have to this on to my list of things to try. Seems like everything is better with a little fermentation.

Karen said...

Oh my gosh, I want to eat some right off my fingers!

I love the taste of cultured butter - this is a must-try.

Anonymous said...

So why not just buy real butter? It only takes 5 minutes to go to the store, and costs less than buying yoghurt and cream. I suppose it depends on what sort of stores you have in your area, but it shouldn't be that hard to find real butter.

deeeeeeena said...

Well, I guess if you like cooking you enjoy doing things like this.
The same question can be asked for anything that we cook -- why bother, why not just buy frozen meals?
The truth is, the end result we create is much better than anything you will find in any store.

Anonymous said...

We don't buy frozen meals because, they taste crappy compared to fresh. Real butter from the store (at least our store), tastes like real butter made at home.

Rose said...

I've been making my own butter for a couple of reasons.

For one, it's amazingly good fresh, and you can stir in herbs, spices, honey etc or salt exactly to your liking.

Second, I am trying to use as much local, organic, food as possible, and create as little waste as possible. So we get fresh local cream in glass containers, which the dairy then reuses.

And, it's fun - the main reason behind most of my cooking projects!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Sounds great & easy! What were the measurements you used?

deeeeeeena said...

Here is the ratio I used (I made less though):
4 cups heavy cream (the best quality, and highest butterfat you can find)
1/2 cup plain yogurt(check the ingredients to make sure these do not contain any gums or stabilizers)

salt, to taste

Anonymous said...

how would i go about making this into honey butter???

deeeeeeena said...

I would make the butter as is and then beat in some honey. Refrigerate for a few hours to help firm up.

John said...

What is the refrigerated life, and could you freeze it?