Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Make Butter

I knew I'd abandoned the Spork but I didn't realize how bad it was until I saw my last post was back in October. OCTOBER! Have I not cooked nearly every night since then? Have no recipes been new? Do I have no travel adventures to share? The answer is "No" ( at least I think it is...I get confused with all those double negatives.) What I'm trying to say is, sorry, dudes. I've missed you. Can we still be friends?

You'll be happy to know that I've been baking more since we last met... not that I've been successful or anything ( pssst...if you're making bread this holiday season be sure to remember the baking powder. Especially if said bread is intended as a hostess gift...) Oh, and I've gained five pounds...that might actually coincide with the wee bit of knowledge I shall impart to you today.

Ready for it?
Okay. Prepare yourself to be hailed as chef extraordinaire when you bust out this culinary skill.

Yes, friends, I'm talking about making the butter. Just imagine yourself at your next holiday potluck...

Relative: "Mmmm, I just love Grandma's mashed potatoes. Oh, what did you make this year?"

You: "Me??? Why, I made a little something called THE BUTTER!"

Just don't tell anyone how easy it was and you'll totally be in the clear from helping with the dishes. Here's what you do:

Photo Credit: GwenElliott on Flickr ( Can you believe I didn't snap my own pic?) Thanks, GwenElliott-- beautiful shot.

Yields a 1/2 cupish

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream ( the fresher and colder, the better)
1/2 to 1 tsp of kosher salt ( it all depends on how salty you like your butter.)

Special equipment: Food Processor and Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth

1. Add cream and salt to food processor fitted with blade.

2. Constantly pulse the heck out of it. Seriously, first it will look like whipped cream followed by supremely thick whipped cream. It will trick you for a little while and you might give up on it, but don't. Keep it going. All the sudden, the thick cream will slosh and clumps of curds will separate from the liquid. I'm told the liquid is buttermilk but I really don't know. I'm concerned about butter here, people.

3. Discard the liquid and strain the curds through the cheesecloth or mesh strainer, pushing or squeezing out all liquid. Place in a ramekin or small bowl.

At this point, you could fold in seasonings or herbs or whatever strikes your fancy. I like it plain in all it's creamy goodness. Served immediately if a whipped texture is desired or form and chill.

Pretty easy, huh? You won't even break a sweat and you'll reap all the benefits of hours spent churning away. It kinda makes you feel like you should exercise to make up the difference. But, then again, why do that when you can consume mass quantities of homemade butter? The world makes sense again.