I didn’t ever think that I’d come back from a music festival waxing lyrical about how ridiculously easy it is to make butter, but guess what…I’m going to… Did you know how ridiculously easy it is to make butter? Ridiculously easy. That’s how easy.
At the lovely No Direction Home Festival there were several talks, demos and tastings given by the School of Artisan Food. The one that we managed to catch was a little intro into butter making and as soon as I got home I decided to give it a go – all you need is some double cream, a jam jar and some salt (optional). You can do it in a food mixer or obviously a special churning machine, but I don’t have either of those so a jam jar it was and here’s how:
Fill the jam jar one third full of double cream – don’t be tempted to add more as it needs the space to bash around in there. Then start shaking and keep shaking until your arm gets very sore, then swap arms and shake some more and keep switching arms until the cream separates into a solid and a liquid. It will go through several stages from a cream, to a whipped cream, to an over-whipped cream and then this solid vs liquid state which is when you stop.
Then place a sieve over a bowl and tip your butter out, the liquid that comes off is buttermilk which you can keep for your soda bread / scones / pancakes or whatever else you might use it for.
Now get some ice cold water and pour it over the butter to rinse off any buttermilk that may still be on the surface, this also cools the butter down which makes it a little easier to handle. When the liquid coming off the butter runs clear, turn it out onto a surface.
The next step I slightly left out as I don’t have any Scotch Hands (butter beaters) – but I bashed it around a bit on greaseproof paper with a wooden spoon as I introduced a good pinch of sea salt and this seems to have worked fine. I then wrapped it up in a fresh piece of greaseproof and put it in the fridge to have on my toast this morning. It was delicious, a little too salty (will adjust next time) but really tasty. Also you could flavour it with anything, a nice herby butter perhaps? Obviously the better the cream, the better the butter – so for the best possible butter it’s time for me to find a raw milk supplier who feeds their cows on delicious grass – this could be a little tricky in London…