As previously mentioned, I wrapped up my oodles of homework and decided the best way to wind down was to make butter. Yeah, I know. Looking back, it’s clear there was something wrong with my logic, but .. hey I have butter.
There’s always been something really fascinating about the scientific origins of cooking to me. That you can turn something from liquid to solid to gas and back again is just utterly AMAZING to me. Milk is one of those ingredients that has those really groovy qualities, but for today’s purposes, I’ll be focusing on cream, specifically, and how this:
happens.. The image of Alta Dena Heavy Whipping Cream is courtesy of http://www.altadenadairy.com. Hell, I guess the butter kind of is too. Thanks guys!
I started ambitiously with 2 pints of cream. I poured them into a large (it needs to be really big) bowl. The next step is to whipping cream until it turns into whipped cream. Then keep whipping it. It will deflate a little and start to downsize. At this point, it will give off a bit of water. When the liquid starts to separate, congrats! You’ve got butter and butter milk. The butter is edible at this point but kind of grainy and ugly. Drain off the butter milk and add about a 1/2 cup of ice cold water.. switch to a potato masher or some other hand held smashing device.. smash for a bit, then drain off the water… You’ll notice that you pour off a lot more water than you actually put in.
You should do this a couple more times until the butter run-off is clear or not butter milk colored.
Voila! You have a smidge of buttermilk and you have a lot of butter.
This is SO not cost effective, unlike most of the stuff that I make from scratch, but I would seriously recommend everyone that uses butter do this at least once in their lives. It gives a new appreciation of the process and reminds us how shitty margarine is.