Not wanting to let any food go to waste I realised I had a pot of double cream sitting in the fridge almost ready to be thrown away. So what to do with left over cream?? Why not teach myself how to churn butter at home?
Having a kitchenaid stand mixer makes this so easy, however I know you can make your own butter by sloshing cream around in a jar too. One guy attached a sealed jar of cream to his very active toddlers back and as the child frolicked he churned butter as he went. Now that’s multi tasking.
I didn’t employ any small children in the making of this butter. Rather I set my kitchenaid to work for less than 20 minutes and produced a patty of butter and a bowl of buttermilk. Magic.
There’s 6 clear stages in the butter development which is quite exciting to watch. Starting with 350ml of double (or heavy) cream just whack it in your mixer with the beater attachment and let it go.
As it’s quite liquid to start with I gradually increased the speed working my way up to high and left it running whilst I made myself a cup of tea and treat Super Hans to a dollop of leftover cream. I could then marvel at the wonder of butter making, stopping only to sip my tea and take photos.
If you start off too high the liquid will escape from the bowl and not end up in your butter. I want to maximise my butter intake so slow and steady it goes. The cream will thicken as it fluffs up with air.
Stage 1. White bubbly cream.
Stage 2. Thick whipped cream. Delicious on scones but not what we’re looking for.
Stage 3. It’s getting exciting. The cream takes on a yellow hue and is very thick.
Stage 4. It starts to look a bit scrambled as the cream begins to separate into butter and milk. Don’t worry it’s meant to look a bit grainy!
Stage 5. WE HAVE BUTTER! And a beautiful buttermilk by product. It separates fully into a lump of butter sloshing around the bowl with buttermilk. Take it easy at this stage as you’ll lose the precious buttermilk if you beat the butter too vigorously. Once the butter comes together in a patty it’s ready to drain.
Stage 6. Drain the buttermilk out of the bowl and save it for later. (This is a triumph. I’ve not been able to find real buttermilk in the shops so now I have genuine buttermilk to work with and make proper Soda Bread!) Squish the butter by hand to remove the excess milk and hey presto your butter is ready. You can also leave it drain in a sieve over a bowl.
Stage 7. Roll into a nice patty shape inside some greaseproof paper and pop it in the fridge to set. You could add flavourings at this stage too if you fancy, herbs, garlic, salt. As I’m going to use this in a pie crust I’m keeping mine pure and simple.
Before even starting the washing up I calculated the ratio of flour needed for the amount of buttermilk I had made (162ml of buttermilk to be exact) to whip up a quick soda bread!
I just threw all the flour back into the mixing bowl and made a half size loaf. I guessed just under half the amount of flour was needed. Now we have a full on snack from one pot of cream that was just going to be thrown in the bin. Using every single bit of the ingredient so nothing goes to waste. Economical and environmentally friendly baking. Now that’s my kind of cooking.
Things I used to make my butter
- 350ml double or heavy cream (any amount would do, but the more cream you have the greater the amount of butter you will make with better value for your time and electricity bill…)
- Kitchenaid (or you could shake it up in a jar or use a hand whisk if you’re feeling energetic)
- You coud add herbs, garlic or salt to flavour your butter)
After 20 minutes of beating I made
- 165g butter
- 165ml buttermilk
- (and a small half sized soda bread loaf!)