I’ve been told many times that the happiest people are the ones who have figured out how to turn what they love into their career. While I’m not sure that I’d go as far as to call my blog a career at this point, I am certainly blessed to be able to do what I love.
I have had many hobbies and interests over the years, but my love of cooking and baking goes beyond that. I love spending time in the kitchen, and I seem to have an unquenchable thirst for food related knowledge. I read cookbooks from cover to cover and find myself especially drawn to the books that explain the hows and whys of cooking and baking.
What does all of this have to do with butter? Well, while I am well aware of the fact that I can purchase butter at just about any store that sells groceries, making my own homemade butter has been on my kitchen to-do list for quite a while. It turns out that it’s really quite simple, and its a great learning experience. Sure, most people know that butter is a dairy product, but can they really tell you how to make butter? I personally feel that understanding where my food comes from (even if I don’t always make it myself) helps me to appreciate and place more value on the quality of the food that I prepare and serve. And, that is something that I hope to teach my daughter as she grows up, as well.
Butter is really quite simple. You start with heavy cream and you separate out the solids (butter) from the liquids (fresh buttermilk). You control all of the ingredients. I used organic heavy whipping cream this time around, but I am looking forward to making butter from fresh, local cream from the farmers’ market this summer. If you prefer to have salted butter, you can simply add some sea salt. Want something a bit fancier? Add spices or sweeteners to your butter for a special treat. Regardless of how you enjoy it, I am confident that you will take pride in knowing that you churned the butter yourself.
Homemade Butter and Buttermilk
Makes 1 cup butter and 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 pint heavy cream (preferably organic)
- Sea salt (optional)
Pour the heavy cream into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it is very thick and starts to crumble.
Switch to the beater blade and continue to beat the crumbly cream on medium-high speed until you see that the milk solids are separating from the liquid. Drain the liquid (be sure to save it, this is your buttermilk!) and continue to mix, mix, mix.
Keep draining the buttermilk and beating the mixture until all you are left with is the creamy milk solids… Butter! At this point, you can add sea salt to taste. Enjoy!
You’ll notice that the buttermilk that you’re left with isn’t quite the same as the cultured buttermilk you typically purchase at the grocery store. The key word is cultured… Most buttermilk used for baking is fermented. I won’t get into all of the details. You can still use your buttermilk for baking (or drink it)… I just stir in a few tablespoons of plain yogurt for that tangy, thick buttermilk that makes perfect biscuits and pancakes. Yum!