when winnie first arrived here --all of 4 days ago-- she was very thin. dairy cows are supposed to be thinner than beef. and beef is what we know. but winnie was Bony All Over. she was also stressed from the move. so that first night and that following sunday morning she gave us little milk with virtually no butterfat. BUT we have been putting meat on them bones! with fancy, plentiful hay, thanks to our generous landlord. in the past two days she's started giving us nearly 3 gallons of milk a day. and the cream lines are BEAUtiful. so naturally, i wanted to make butter as soon as.
this is nearly the time to make butter. we are still on hay, in most places in this country. but we are so very close to fresh grass. and there is absolutely nothing more delicious than the butter made from cows on fresh spring grass.
and since it is sadly very vermont spring (read, Cold and Wet) outside, i thought i'd share with you how to make butter...and duck my duties down at the barn for another hour or two.
you will need:
cream, any amount ( i used 1 quart )
salt, to taste
small wooden paddle
clean empty jar for your butter
strainer (not pictured)
large bowl (not picture either, BAD KATE)
wood cutting board
1. set cream out of fridge and bring to room temperature (65ºF); don't heat it up. allow this to happen naturally. if it is particularly cold in your kitchen, place near the woodstove or heat source. BUT monitor carefully. you don't want it to get too warm. i place the cream out first thing in the morning so it warms while i do my morning chores.
2. make sure the vessel your cream is in as at least 1/2 empty space at the top, so you don't fly cream everywhere when you blend. i had to pour my quart of cream into a 1/2 gallon mason jar for more space. (first, i made sure to get cream all over the kitchen counter).
3. immersion blend. (patti! we love our bamix blender. thank you!!) for cream to become butter you need to aerate the cream. do this by pushing the immersion blender up and down, constantly, through the cream, bringing it just slightly out of the cream and then submerging again. this brings air through. blend on a high speed and continuously until your butter breaks. with a good blender and a quart of cream this takes only 5 minutes or so.
your cream will go through a whipped cream phase and then it will, rather suddenly, "break" into butter. you'll know this has happened when you see yellow clumpy butter and the separated buttermilk in your jar.
4. strain the buttermilk out of the butter. jar up the buttermilk to use for biscuits or a cake in the next couple of days. or if trying to conserve waist line give to dog, pig, cat, or chickens. they will love it.
5. place your wet butter on a clean cutting board over the sink and begin to paddle it. you want to work the butter constantly over itself into a ball. squeezing out all excess buttermilk.
6. once you have paddled the crap out of your butter, give it a rinse in cold water to clarify it further. the less buttermilk left in the butter the longer it will keep in your pantry.
7. salt your butter to taste. not necessary, but i find it much more delicious. if you are using raw cream, this is helpful in preserving the butter. pasteurized cream doesn't require it. paddle the salt into the butter, spreading it evenly throughout.
8. package the butter in a glass jar, label it with date.
9. i needn't tell you how many ways to enjoy homemade butter.