Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Butter Is Better

I am happy to report my first (successful) attempt at making a dairy product in my tiny own kitchen!

Blog, allow me to introduce you to Butter.

If you're anything like me at all, butter is absolutely indispensable. I saute asparagus, I bake cakes, I create tart crust, I smear pieces of baguette.

And, fabulously, butter has to be one of the easiest things to make ever. Observe:

Take one cup of cream and let it sit out until it reaches 50 degrees F. At the same time, put a clean quart jar in the fridge.

Once the cream has reached the desired temperature, pour it into the quart jar and screw on the lid tightly. Then start shaking the dickens out of it.

The cream will start out like cream, then frothy. After a few minutes, without any warning, it will have a whipped consistency. Do not be alarmed. And do not stop shaking.

After another few minutes, again with no warning whatsoever, the contents of the jar will turn from whipped cream into a large yellow lump and some milky liquid. Ta-da! You have made butter. This entire process should take somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes.

Pour off the buttermilk and store in the fridge for a refreshing pre-bedtime drink. 
Pour cold water over the butter and shake to rinse, then pour off. Do this three or four times, until the water runs clear.
Knead the butter with your hands (or with a pair of spoons, if you're fastidious) to remove any remaining liquid. This is important, since leaving the extra liquid can make your butter spoil. Stir in 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, if so desired.

Spread on a piece of bread and enjoy.

Note: Do not be alarmed by the taxi cab shade of yellow that is my butter. It is representative of butterfat from grass-fed cows, and is caused by high levels of Vitamin A and beta-carotene - the same reasons that eggs from free-range chickens have similarly, shockingly colored yolks.

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