February 15, 2010
Fresh creamy butter. Preferably unsalted, or with a soupçon to bring the rich flavour to life. Spread over hot hot hot toast, just the right shade of brown and satisfyingly thick. Each bite an audible crunch, crumbs flying everywhere but on the plate. Is there anything more gloriously simple than homemade butter?
I have been inspired of late to try my hand at making things that I used to buy off the shelf. Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle is chock full of inspiration for everything from cheese making to raising chickens. And while I have yet to make yogurt, Daniel Patterson's journey to make fresh butter seemed too easy to ignore.
Fresh Homemade Butter
yields about 2 lbs of butter, plus approx 2 cups of buttermilk
Start with 6 cups of high quality organic 35% cream. I use Harmony Organic, a local producer whose cream is so thick that there's always a big dollop at the top of the bottle.
As the cream passes the "whipped" state, it will start to separate and form liquid. At the point where liquid from the bowl starts splashing against the plastic wrap, and the cream becomes pale yellow and pebbly, turn off the mixer - you're almost done.
Strain the solids, catching the liquid in a bowl, and leave them in the strainer. That liquid is fresh buttermilk! Get out your favourite scone or soup recipe. Restrain the buttermilk with a fine mesh sieve and set it aside. You'll add more to this cache of rich goodness in a few minutes.
Smooth the butter into a container with an airtight lid. And there you have it - simple, delicious butter, ready to be used and enjoyed.