Sunday, June 5, 2011

Homemade Butter!

So it is Sunday afternoon, there is nothing on television and I am absolutely bored out of my mind. We were supposed to be still out in the country, but ended up rushing back to town this morning at about 1:30 because K had a fever of 104.8 F. During the 45 minute drive, poor K was sick three times. My sister and I sat at the hospital with him until 4 am, while he either chatted our ears off or slept. The doctor found he has an ear infection on each side, thankfully not worse because he was also presenting signs of appendicitis (he was saying his tummy hurt around his belly button, when the doctor pressed he said it hurt there, but when he asked more probing questions and found the 'ear bunnies' he ruled it out, but said to keep an eye on it just in case). So, poor K did not get to go fishing with Grampie this morning, but he did get to plant potatoes last night with Nanny. We are going to try again for a fishing adventure next weekend.

So, i digress, but back to being bored out my mind this afternoon. I picked up a copy of Chatelaine to look at the recipes, and found an article about using your blender. Recipes for slushes, martinis and little blurb for butter! It basically said to pour 1 cup of whipping cream into your blender and let it go for about 5 minutes until it turns into butter. Here is my result, but I went about it a bit differently.

I ran down to the store to get a container of whipping cream, It was only 2.50 for 500 mL, not a bad price (compared to butter). The recipe said to use only 1 cup, even though the container was closer to 2, i dumped it all into my blender and started it up.

After about a minute and a half, it suddenly went super thick. After all, it was whipping cream. I kept having to start and stop it, pushing the cream into the blades, and after another 2 or 3 minutes, it was not doing anything. I took a taste, and it kind of tasted like butter, but not really. I blended for another minutes or two. Maybe it was supposed to be soft butter? I pulled it out of the blender into a bowl, and was thinking of refrigerating it when I saw my mixer. Maybe? So, into the mixer it went. The below picture was after one minute at setting 6, it is a bit blurry but you can see it is getting a curdled look.

I stopped the mixer, scraped the sides and let it go again, turning to the sink to dismantle and clean the blender. No more than two minutes later, I checked the mixer and realized milk was spraying everywhere! I screwed it up, it separated!! I pulled the whisk out and realized what was on it was butter! Success!! When the recipe said you had to drain it, i didn't realize it would mean so much liquid, but i am so happy it worked!

So, i wiped up the buttermilk from everything, poured it through a small strainer and then mashed it together with my hands and squeezed out some more of the milk. Finally, I had a block of butter! Here is the picture again, I am so proud!

I also had about a cup of milk left over. I called my Mom to find out if this was buttermilk and could be used (she grew up on a farm), and she said it could; so now I am going to make some buttermilk biscuits. Yummy!

So now I am starting to feel like a farmer, helping to plant potatoes last night and making butter today. Here is a picture of K planting.

He said the little eyes growing out of the potatoes 'freak me out'. Poor kid :-) he was quite impressed by the bug net we put over him, the black flies will carry you away out there! I love my city, no flies!!

So, aside from a visit to the ER this morning, I have had a good weekend. Hope everyone else can say the same!


  1. i made butter a few weeks ago and just used my hand-held mixer. you're right though, the buttermilk flies EVERYWHERE once everything separates into butter and buttermilk LOL the next time i do it, i'm going to rig up a sheet of plastic wrap with holes poked through it to fit the beaters through. i wish i had a stand mixer, because my hand was numb after 10 minutes of holding the stupid hand mixer LOL

    once it was separated into solid & liquid, i strained off the buttermilk (and had a brainfart and tossed it down the sink...oops) then threw the wad of butter onto a wooden board and worked it with a couple of plastic rice paddles, pressing it down smooth, then folding it into a ball again. when you knead it, it becomes a richer yellow. (also, you can "wash" the butter in cold water in the blender, changing the water when it's cloudy then repeat the process until the water stays clear. the more buttermilk you work out of the butter, the longer it will keep in the fridge. if there is buttermilk left in the solids, it will go rancid within a couple of days...not that it would last that long in my house anyway) then i got fancy and threw in some fleur de sel to make salted butter. the fleur de sel is *awesome* for this because you get tiny crunches of salt when you eat the butter, and it's super good on toast or a bagel. i would leave it unsalted if you're going to use it to cook with though.

    my butter experiment came about because i was trying to recreate the amazing butter we had in France. it was close, but no cigar. their butter tastes different because their cows are mainly grass-fed and dairy (and beef, for that matter) has a bit of a different taste anyway. i'm definitely going to make butter again though in a bigger batch and maybe freeze some of it to use for cooking or to make clarified butter for frying (yum!)

  2. Difference in butter taste between yours and what you had in France might also be because of pasteurization - what you had there was probably made with whole-milk and would be a totally different ballgame to what you get from Baxters. Ma made it once i think with some milk we got uphome from one of the dairy farmers (Kirkpatrick i think)

  3. I am definitely making it again! I still have your butter recipe, Cletta, from when you gave it to Colleen, she passed it onto me. I forgot where I filed it, though :p
    Maybe I should get Mom to check the farmer's up in that area to get me some milk, if i can get some and you want a share of fresh butter, Tyrel, let me know!

  4. Very cool. I would never have thought to save the left over liquid. Great idea! (And what's better than buttermilk biscuits with warm, fresh butter on them?)