Recently, I tried making butter. This was mostly prompted by the fact that I had half a gallon of heavy cream in my refrigerator that expired the day before our three-day trip to Santa Barbara. There was no way that stuff was going to be used in time. So … butter, anyone?
I’ve never made butter before and this was a real adventure for me. I stuck all that heavy cream in my KitchenAid and set the whisk a-spinning. At first, I left it on about 4 or 6, worried it would splatter everywhere. Then I realized that this really only jiggled the heavy cream and we needed to get this party started.
So I turned up the heat. And got a lovely mound of soft-peaks whipped cream:
It looks like billowy clouds. I couldn’t resist taking a taste. Without vanilla and sugar, whipped cream is surprisingly disappointing.
All the blogs I read about homemade butter included rapturous sentences about tastiness and also about how the whipped cream will just “seize.” I had no clue what that meant so I kept whipping.
This looks curdly and not so appetizing. I was not tempted into taking a taste.
Finally, I heard what I thought was a seize. But I was confused. Stuff at the bottom looked mealy. Stuff along the sides looked like whipped cream. Could this be right?
I can’t believe it’s not butter! Oh, wait, yes, I can. What is that?
I let it drain for a few minutes and the amount of buttermilk generated was weak-sauce. I slid it back into the mixer bowl and set it a-churning again. I repeated this step twice because I was unsure of what my final result should be. Then, suddenly, I got this:
They weren’t kidding about the seizing. Or even the EXPLOSION of buttermilk you will suddenly see.
And now I know. And I am passing this on to you so you know, too. And knowing is half the battle.
Note: Whenever food blogs talk about making butter, they never bring up washing the butter to remove it of all buttermilk, which will turn it rancid. I had to read a recipe for that. I think that’s an important, unsaid step. Because I totally would have stuck my butter in a bowl and put it in the fridge and wondered why my butter tasted like “gross.”
I mixed it with some honey and now I have lots of honey butter. Anyone want to come over for biscuits?
I understand if you don’t. 🙂