That's right. Making butter. Rocket science you say? Hardly. If I had any idea just how simple it was to knock out a batch of butter, I would've been doing this years ago. It's hard to believe sometimes just how separated we are from our food sources, when an adult has a vague sense of how butter gets to her table, but is sure it involves a hyper-complicated process or hours and hours at one of those old-school churners that seem to be used almost exclusively as country decor tchatchkas, nick-knacks or occasionally, storage. I felt almost ashamed that it took Karen Solomon's lovely cookbook Jam It, Cure It, Pickle It, to make me realize just how simple making your own goodies like butter really are. No wonder each family used to make their own butter! So simple, you get beautiful, fresh buttermilk and fabulous butter all at once! How does the magic happen you ask? Shake. Shake. Shake. Or, for the weak-armed, Mix. That's right. Grab yourself some heavy whipping cream and let's get started.
from Jam It, Pickle It, Preserve it by Karen Solomon
1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
salt to taste
Place cream in a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Jar should be large enough for cream to only take up half of it. Shake. I imagine this would be an awesome game for kids - just beware of launching jars. Shake, dancing along with the shaking is even more fun. Shake while reading the paper. Shake for 3 minutes or so (depending on the temperature, warmer = faster), you'll have whipped cream. Another few minutes you'll have the beginnings of butter. Once you get a good amount of solidified mass and separated buttermilk, pour and reserve the buttermilk in a separate bowl (for ideas on how to use the buttermilk, see the next post!).
Once buttermilk is removed, pour just enough water to cover the nascent butter into the jar and shake some more. Once more solid, dump this water out (do not keep this liquid). Repeat once more. Once the butter consistency is to your liking, mix with your favorite salt or fresh herbs, garlic, whatever your little heart desires. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Also makes a great gift.
ALTERNATIVELY, if you just don't have the shake in you, place cream in stand mixer (or use hand-held mixer) and mix until the butter is mostly solidified and you have your buttermilk. Reserve buttermilk by pouring into separate bowl. Add water to butter, again mix until it's at the consistency you want, pour out water (no need to keep this water) and add in any of your favorite mixings as mentioned above.