I was *so* excited this week to have happened upon a new urban co-op delivery service in St. Pete that provides produce, dairy and meats from local, urban farms (including backyards!). We obviously signed up immediately, and had our first delivery this past Friday.
Our first load included a gallon of raw milk, a quart of raw cream, a pound of grass-fed beef, and a huge (HUGE!) bag of mixed “smoothie” greens.
Point is, I had been looking for a reliable source of raw cream so that I could start making my own butter. I heard it was ridiculously easy, and that we could eventually do it really affordably (if we’re willing to forego the whole ‘organic’ thing, anyway) – but I wanted to try.
This morning, I got to try.
I started with half of the jug of my raw cream, and literally just dumped it into my KitchenAid mixer. I added about a 1/2 tsp. of salt, because I prefer salted butter – and I’m not making this for baking. I want to slather it on bread. I love butter.
This is our first experience with raw milk or cream. I’m finding two things: 1. Our kids *love* the raw milk, probably because it’s whole milk and it’s creamy and delicious, and 2. It’s freakin’ expensive. Why the heck it’s *more* expensive to not do anything to the milk after it’s extracted (i.e. pasteurize and process it) is beyond me.
Anyway. You basically just turn on your beaters to high, and let it ride.
First, you’ll froth the cream.
Then, it’ll whip. Yup, just like whipped cream. Butter just goes one step farther. This is what you call “stiff peaks,” right before it turns to butter. (Makes you realize how fattening real whipped cream is, eh? You’d never pile that much butter on top of something.)
Then, just let the beaters run until the fat congeals and the water separates. You’ll know when this happens. I was wondering if I’d missed something – the beaters ran for about 7 or 8 minutes – but when it changed, it was a pretty major change. You can see it between these photos.
Once you get to this point, you’re done. That’s the butter! Now you just need to get rid of the milk so that it doesn’t spoil. I poured off all of the buttermilk (yes! This process also produces the freshest buttermilk you can find!) into a jar for later.
Then, you have to rinse your butter. This part is sorta gross, but I’m sure there’s a better way. I’ll try to find it next time. Until then, you can just pull the butter out and ball it up in your hands (yes, it’s really, really greasy – it’s butter. duh.). Rinse it thoroughly under running water, then knead it in your hands and keep rinsing. Make sure there are no pockets of milky water – get it all out, rinsed, and clean.
That’s it! You’ve got fresh, homemade butter, straight out of your KitchenAid! Of course, you don’t need the mixer (you can even make it in a jar by just shaking it up), but it certainly makes it one of the quicker, easier things you’ll ever do.
I bought a butter bell (or, French butter jar) to keep my homemade butter in (I intend to make more!), which I absolutely love.
Basically, you just fill the “bell” part of the crock with the butter, and fill the “jar” part with cold water, then flip the bell over into the jar. The water creates an airtight seal that keeps the butter fresh for up to a month at room temperature. It’s a great addition to my countertop, and keeps my room-temp butter ready for my bread when I need it. #Win.
Overall, the butter making process was far simpler and less time-consuming then I’d ever imagined – and I look forward to doing a lot more of it with the fresh cream we can get as often as we need.