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Homemade Butter

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In the butter eating thread, Rail Paul mentions David Patterson's article about making butter in the kitchen (unlinked because it is now part of the NYTimes archive). It sparked my interest for a little kitchen experimentation and this weekend, with the help of the blog Traveler's Lunchbox thread about the cultured butter I jumped in with both feet.

 

Thankfully, I have access to excellent cream here. Cedar Summit dairy in New Prague, MN produces organic milk and cream that are batch pasteurized on the farm. The cream comes in returnable pint jars and have a characteristic plug of butterfat at the neck when you pop the plastic lid off the jar. Silky texture and no hint of a cooked flavor.

 

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Old-school cream

 

For this first try, I started with one pint of cream and 1/6 cup of (approximately) Fage yogurt which was readily available. The kitchen was warm (between 70 and 80 degreesF) after stirring them together and probably stayed about 70 overnight. This morning, the mixture was thin so I left it for what ended up being 20ish hours on the counter. By the end, the cultured cream was just short of pudding and was starting to take on a nice sour note.

 

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Creme fraiche, essentially

 

If any of you are me, you've accidentally made butter a time or two when whipping cream during and getting distracted. When making butter, it really is as simple as whipping until the cream breaks and then washing and kneading the result.

 

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Whipping cream

 

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If you're like me, you've seen this before

 

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After three rinses and before heavy kneading and salting

 

I added salt to taste and didn't take care to measure the amount of salt that I added. I used Diamond kosher salt and it seems like it was maybe two teaspoons for the resulting 8 oz of butter. The result is noticeably salty and tastes very fine on toast.

 

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After kneading, before forming into logs for storage

 

One bonus of this method is that you get some of the freshest buttermilk you will ever taste. Naturally cultured buttermilk tastes creamier than commercially available buttermilk. As you can see, I got about a 1/2 pint of buttermilk after draining.

 

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Excellent buttermilk for biscuits or pancakes

 

So 8oz of excellent tasting butter and 8oz of the buttermilk I still remember from visiting dairy farms in my childhood. And it took me a total of 1 hour including cleaning up without a dishwasher (and dealing with an unbalanced washing machine in the spin cycle). Really easy and, it seems, well worth the effort.

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That looks sooooo good, SL. I'm really dying to try this. I can get Butterworks Farms cream - from Jersey cows and, like your Cedar Summit, batch pasteurized on the farm.

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I figured I'd answer your question over here.

 

The butter is fantastic without the salt. Slight sourness but in a very pleasant way.

 

I just whipped up some pancake batter with the buttermilk for tomorrow morning so I snagged a taste prior to adding it to the bowl. Unbelievably good. So good, it would be worth making butter like this just for the buttermilk. Far more body than commercial buttermilk. And the sourness is not nearly so pronounced. Would be fantastic served simply in a bowl with berries. Or used in an ice cream base.

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I figured I'd answer your question over here.

 

The butter is fantastic without the salt. Slight sourness but in a very pleasant way.

 

I just whipped up some pancake batter with the buttermilk for tomorrow morning so I snagged a taste prior to adding it to the bowl. Unbelievably good. So good, it would be worth making butter like this just for the buttermilk. Far more body than commercial buttermilk. And the sourness is not nearly so pronounced. Would be fantastic served simply in a bowl with berries. Or used in an ice cream base.

onE of my customers at a creme fraiche tasting says she uses Vermont Butter and Cheese creme freaiche to make butter for her kids.... <_< (guess they need a little coaxing to eat; it's 42% butterfat to start with!!!)

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I figured I'd answer your question over here.

 

The butter is fantastic without the salt. Slight sourness but in a very pleasant way.

 

I just whipped up some pancake batter with the buttermilk for tomorrow morning so I snagged a taste prior to adding it to the bowl. Unbelievably good. So good, it would be worth making butter like this just for the buttermilk. Far more body than commercial buttermilk. And the sourness is not nearly so pronounced. Would be fantastic served simply in a bowl with berries. Or used in an ice cream base.

onE of my customers at a creme fraiche tasting says she uses Vermont Butter and Cheese creme freaiche to make butter for her kids.... <_< (guess they need a little coaxing to eat; it's 42% butterfat to start with!!!)

Yeah, well I guess feeding them goat's milk butter would be tantamount to cannibalism.

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I've been planning to do this, now that I have a good source for good cream upstate.

And where is that, pray tell? Perhaps I could induce you to bring some down the Taconic for me? My new motto is "make every calorie count."

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onE of my customers at a creme fraiche tasting says she uses Vermont Butter and Cheese creme freaiche to make butter for her kids.... <_< (guess they need a little coaxing to eat; it's 42% butterfat to start with!!!)

Interesting.

 

The label on the cream I used says 6g of fat per tablespoon (15g) so that makes it 40% fat. Within range of the VB&C creme fraiche.

 

Yum.

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Well I happened to get some Butterworks cream in VT on the way to GG's house last week - mighty fine indeed. Regularly, I've been getting good cream at the Troy Farmers Market, made by Gumaer Farms Dairy in Stuyvesant Falls, NY.

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I figured I'd answer your question over here.

 

The butter is fantastic without the salt. Slight sourness but in a very pleasant way.

 

I just whipped up some pancake batter with the buttermilk for tomorrow morning so I snagged a taste prior to adding it to the bowl. Unbelievably good. So good, it would be worth making butter like this just for the buttermilk. Far more body than commercial buttermilk. And the sourness is not nearly so pronounced. Would be fantastic served simply in a bowl with berries. Or used in an ice cream base.

onE of my customers at a creme fraiche tasting says she uses Vermont Butter and Cheese creme freaiche to make butter for her kids.... <_< (guess they need a little coaxing to eat; it's 42% butterfat to start with!!!)

I have heard very good things about Evans Farmhouse creme fraiche althouigh I have never had it. in NYC it is available at Saxelby's in the Essex Market.

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How fun. I just started making butter too. How fun.

 

We got into a cow share at a farm south of us. I pick up my raw milk and cream at the farm once a week. Here's the cow, her name is nutmeg. She's a Normande.

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2 pints of Nutmeg's cream went into this butter.

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Basically the process is the same as Daniel's recipe printed in the NYT. But I churned slower than he did. It took me at least 20 minutes to get the curds to form. I did one batch with fresh cream, though the cream was allowed to rise naturally as opposed to using cream seperator, so the cream is already slightly 'matured'. The result is the picture above.

 

I also churned another batch yesterday, this time with cream that sat out in my room-temp cupboard for 24 hours to allow to mature even more. I didn't use any commercial culture or crème fraîche. I don't like excessive sourness or cheesiness in butter. The model I was going for were Brittany butter, which is made from mature cream but not 'cultured' per se. Plus, our cream is raw so it's still got enough thingies in there and so doesn't need outside assistance. <_<

 

So the cream was left out to mature until just before it reached the crème fraîche stage.

 

I found that the mature cream took longer to throw curds. And it was also harder to get butter out of it. I had to rinse and knead it longer, which may account for why the fresh cream batch taste better and even more 'cheesy' than the second.

 

Next stop, clotted cream!

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I have 2 1/2 pints of cream culturing on the counter (I used just a splash of buttermilk) and will churn tonight. I also bought a wonderful early 20th-century ( <_< ) butter paddle on Sunday. I'm quite sure using a beautiful tool will improve the flavor immensely.

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Pim, what was the room temperature would you guess when you left the cream out for 24 hours?

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Pim, what was the room temperature would you guess when you left the cream out for 24 hours?

 

The model we're going for was Brittany or Normande butter, so the 'room' temperature is probably something close to basement temperature, about 65F. I put my cream in my walk in cupboard in the kitchen, none of the walls face the outside and the temperature there is pretty cool and stable all the time. I figure that's more or less like a cellar a Normande grand-mère keeps her cream.

 

Bordier lets his cream mature in cool room temperature for 24-36 hourse, depending on the time of year. His butter is not 'cultured'. According to Sophie who actually got a real Normande grand-mère, her grandmother wouldn't think of adding anything to the cream to make butter - not even for crème fraîche. It's sacrilege, sullying perfectly good cream. <_<

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