Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Utterly buttery

Since going on the cheese and butter making course I have been simply itching to have a go at making some at home. My long term plan for sourcing a cream separator happened much quicker than I anticipated, and I've also had the OK from a local dairy farmer to come up and get some milk whenever I want.
I still need to clean and sterilise the separator which hasn't been used for years, and because I have put this off, haven't yet trotted up the extremely steep hill with my 21st century churn (plastic milk cartons) in hand.
But I went shopping today and Waitrose had large cartons of double cream reduced. I bought the last three. Now, this is NOT an economic way to produce butter. Making it from your own surplus milk seems to be the only financially sensible method, and I mean from your own cows, not breast milk, obviously. I will have saved mere pennies in comparison to the cost of top quality butter, but I was impatient to put my new knowledge into practice. In particular I wanted to check if I had taken proper notes or if I had forgotten some key stage.
So. Ancient Kenwood receives 1.5 litres of double cream. It whisks until the cream is scrambled and pale yellow and is chucking sploshes of buttermilk out of the bowl and all over my front. I line a colander with muslin and pour the mix into the colander. The buttermilk flows through and is put in the fridge for scone-making. I wash the scrambled cream with ice cold water until the liquid flows clear. At this point I can't remember if I should be whisking the almost-butter between washes or not, so I give it a further whizz for luck. One more wash and the dough hook goes on the Kenwood and the mix has a final whirl. It looks like butter! I don't have any scotch hands so I measure out 8oz clumps and use wooden spatulas and a clean chopping board to bash nine bells out of each lump. A bit more water leaches out. Then the butter is banged into four reasonable shapes, bagged, dated and frozen. One chunk goes straight into the butter dish. As you can see, it has been photographed for posterity.

12 comments:

rilly super said...

mopsa, are you making your butter round when you should be making it square? I hope you remember that you're not allowed to call your produce 'farmhouse' unless its made on an industrial estate on the Kidderminster bypass but apart from that I wish you all the best with your production. It;s look lovely from here anyway...

mutterings and meanderings said...

Oh yum! I think you shoudl be sending some up so I can taste test it for you!

mountainear said...

I'll have toast and honey with mine please....

Swearing Mother said...

If I send you the dimensions of my butter dish, could you make me some that will fit?

Winchester whisperer said...

So...how does it taste?

Mopsa said...

Rilly - I know that bypass well - I used to take my lambs and pigs there for slaughter when I lived in Warwickshire...

I will think of you all as I use it!

SM - are you suggesting that my butter DOESN'T fit my butter dish? You are right of course. Will try harder next time.

WW - it tastes of the sweet butter it is - which I love, but others in the household prefer it more savoury. I want to see if I can get it whiter (naturally of course) and also must get some butter culture to play with taste properties.

Totty Teabag said...

Bravo! Just don't let the dogs get a taste for it...

paula said...

You are so clever! It looks fab, so pro, and I bet it tastes like a little bit of heaven.
Give yourself a huge pat on the back and have some on a warm scone.

Henry North London said...

delightful You have made me laugh today

Mopsa said...

Hnery - how nice to make someone smile - thank you for letting me know.

Gnarly Cranium said...

Homemade butter is glorious.

You don't need to strain it, really. If you put it in something closed that you can shake it in (like a jar with a clothespin in it for an agitator) you won't get as messy, and you can just go on shaking it until the butter clumps to itself. With some stirring you can scoop up the butter in a big lump and then do the rinsing.

Mopsa said...

NO idea how you found me, Gnarly Cranium, but you are most welcome. What a fab moniker.