Sunday, March 6, 2011

Butter in your food processor!

An old time art is made super easy in your food processor.  All you need is some heavy cream and your food processor (or a big jar but that will take MUCH longer). This is an excellent project to share with children. Familiar food, but do they know where it comes from?  The transformation is sudden, and the results are delicious, light, and sweet. Take back your food!

Would this be better with heavy cream from your own animals? Yes, I am sure it would be.

Heavy Cream
Ice Water
salt (optional)

Pour the cream into the processor bowl with the standard blade. Fill bowl about 1/4 to 1/2 way. Do not do as I did and pour the whole thing in. A small mess but it didn't inhibit the process, just added a clean up that wouldn't have been necessary if I hadn't been so gung-ho. Ah well, lessons learned.

Put the lid on an start the motor. I have a fairly powerful machine.

At 30 seconds I had whipped cream, at 45 seconds small butter curds started to form.

It was difficult to see what was happening, I let it go 3 1/2 minutes.

We have butter! And buttermilk. Pour off the butter milk, drink it, use it for biscuits, mix in with some grain and feed your chickens. Don't just pour it down the drain.

Quite a lot of liquid came off.

Taste it. Sweet, light, almost ethereal. I did not add salt to the cream. There is a lot of water in it, and whey that needs to be removed, else the butter will spoil quite rapidly. 

To wash the butter, add about 1/2  cup of ice water to the bowl and process. Drain off the liquids. Keep repeating until the liquid is clear. I didn't get it crystal clear, but it was pretty clear. I'm impatient.

Lastly, transfer the butter to a big bowl, and using a potato masher, go at it some more. Drain the liquid as it separates.

Go ahead, have some toast, fry an egg in it. It is very different than store bought. Much lighter. 

This butter won't keep as long as the blocks of stuff from the store, so freezing some is a good option.

I put some on plastic wrap, added some herbs de provence, and formed two logs like that. It will be delicious packed under the skin of a chicken  before roasting. These are going in the freezer.

I filled a small ramekin for using it up and will make a gift of another little tub to a friend I know will appreciate it.

Unlike many disclaimers on TV; please, do try this at home!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging.

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. Great post!
    I usually use my mixer, with the normal beaters, and it takes about 20 minutes on the highest speed I can get without flinging cream everywhere. I'd never thought of using the food processor! I will definitely try that next time!

  2. Think it sounds great! would suggest you wrap in greased proof paper and then foil to freeze, cling is not supposed to be healthy near our food as it can leach synthetic estrogen.

  3. Thanks Julie! The processor certainly keeps it from being flung all over!

  4. Thanks Anonymous. The waxpaper is a good idea. Thanks for the tip about cling. BPA's are certainly a concern, especialy when heated. As this is going into the freezer, not the microwave, I am not overly concerned. But you make a valid point. Folks should be aware that noty all plastics are created equal. If you're going to heat it, make sure it is labkled "microwave safe."

  5. Very nice post. Making butter is someting on my to-do list. I do hate using my food processor though. I happen to hate electric things that make a lot of noise. I may have to try this one though.

  6. You could do it by hand becky, but it would take much much longer. This was ridiculously fast.

  7. take back your food is right! great work! i use a jar or if i don't have the time.. the mixer. after the cream has "broken" i put it back in the jar to shake it together, pour off the buttermilk (yes us it!) and then rinse until the water is clear.

  8. Thanks Ofg! I thought about goat butter but everything I read said goat milk is so homogenized that it is very difficult to get enough cream to make butter. Ever try it?


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