Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making Butter With Fresh Cream

We use Charlotte Mason's philospohies in our home and in our homeschool. And those methods include Handicrafts, which are not "crafts" in the modern sense, but rather are "useful skills" such as cooking, sewing, wood carving, and many other practical life-skills to be used in real life. Lately, our Handicrafts have been concentrated in the kitchen and in the garden. That being said ....

Our family has never really liked regular store-butter, but we have always liked LandOLakes fresh cream butter (only).

So, the thought of making butter with clabbered milk ... well, we just assumed that we would not like the taste.

But since Cherub 2 LOVES to try new projects in the kitchen, we decided it might be fun to try. We began with some research online and in cookbooks about Butter Making, and also began emailing with some knowledgable people online ... we began getting ready to try Butter Making.

And on Wednesday, Cherub 2 and I tried making FRESH CREAM BUTTER for the first time.

We actually made 2 separate batches. We had 2 full quarts of fresh cream, and so we decided to work with 1 quart at a time, thus being able to "experiment" a bit along the way.

We have a KitchenAid mixer, so we decided to try making butter with that first despite many mixed reviews on whether it would work or not. (BTW - Butter Churns, whether electric and non-electric, are very pricey - YIKES !!)

With Batch #1, we used room temperature cream -- and our KitchenAid ran for literally an hour or more until we had butter.

With Batch 2, we used COLD (actually the jar of cream sat in the freezer while we processed Batch #1) cream, and the Kitchen Aid only ran for 20 minutes --- so the Cold Cream method "worked" better.

Then, after each batch, we drained off the buttermilk, and washed the very-soft butter. We found that pressing and shaping the fresh, just-washed butter was easier if we let it chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes ... but not for too long. (Fresh cream butter is a bit hard when it is really cold, just like LandOLakes - imagine that !! HA !)

Also, if you are going to attempt to make fresh butter with your Kitchen Aid, be sure to use the Wisk attachment, and be sure to have lots of aluminum foil on hand to "close" (as much as humanly possible) the top of the mixing bowl while the mixer is running. If you do not cover the mixing bowl (we used the plastic lid that is from KitchenAid, and then covered it even more with foil) while you are "churning", you will have a HUGE mess when suddenly the mixture changes from whipping cream to chunky butter splashing around in buttermilk. In other words, you will have buttermilk all over the counter and all over the mixer as well (and buttermilk is sticky when it begins to dry, and is a bit difficult to get cleaned off of the mixer).

Photo of our Fresh Cream butter while the buttermilk was being drained away.

Earlier Wednesday morning we baked 2 loaves of Zucchini bread and 2 loaves of Yellow Squash bread .... and they were perfect for taste tests of our Homemade Butter .... of course, a TEST is really only "authentic" and the results are only "accurate" if one has MANY samples .... so one loaf of each kind was eaten rather quickly, slathered with (test results !) THE BEST BUTTER WE HAVE EVER HAD. (Thanks MamaLion for the squash bread recipe)


3'sacharm said...

I will have to "second" how wonderful the bread and butter were. Thank you for sharing!! Might have to share the recipes, too! Great visit.

Kristenph said...

Oh boy, another excuse to use my Kitchen Aid! Looks like a fun project.

jamie in rose cottage said...

We've made our own butter before, but it was a no-electricity required deal. Just put the milk in a tupperware-type container and shake, shake, shake! It's a pretty good workout, too! {grin}

(And it does taste good!)

Cindy said...

Yummy!! Yes, just another excuse to use the Kitchen Aid.

Our kitchen handicrafts lately have been canning beans and preparing homemade mixes.