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.