Saturday, May 4, 2013

Household Experiment: Amazingly Fast and Simple Butter Making

A couple months back, on of the other homestead sites posted an article about making butter in a blender.  In our house, the blender is a shelf filler; instead we use this Ninja thing that was bought for my husband a couple years back, mainly for making smoothies.  It has two sets of blades, much sharper than a blender, and to me is superior.

But enough of an ad for the Ninja.

The set comes with a smaller container and shorter set of blades, so I decided to use that for the butter making.

Heavy whipping cream is your product to get butter.  If you are a raw milk person, and your supplier does not skim off the cream, you can use this. Same if you milk your own cows or goats. Note, if you skim your own cream, you will get more buttermilk in the end and less butter than factory removed and packaged cream.   So while a pint of heavy whipping cream will yield about a cup of finished butter, you will likely get about 3/4 a cup of butter.

In goes the cream!

In less than two minutes, I had very thick whipped cream. As you can see, when I took off the top, a bunch stuck to it, and it looks very good. (tasted good too) This is the kind of whipped cream you want to fold in just a bit of powdered sugar and use to frost a cake.  I'm a sucker for whipped cream frosted cakes!

However, this is not the finished state, so you want to keep going until you see liquid starting to separate out and clumps to form.  

This is what butter should look like.  But wait, you are NOT finished!

Whether you do it in a blender, Ninja, or butter churn, butter retains a lot of milk, known as butter milk.  To make your butter right, you need to paddle it.  No, I'm not talking about getting a switch from a tree.  Scoop the butter out of your device and put it in a shallow bowl.  Immediately pour off the visible milk into a glass or jar.

Historically, a wooden bowl was used, and a wooden paddle, and the butter is pressed and folded in on itself, draining off the milk as you go.  I didn't have either, so I used a ceramic dish and a spatula.

You can see the glass of buttermilk in the back,  and some liquid in the dish.  Pressing the butter not only gets the milk out of it, but it helps the butter get the texture we are most used to.  I know I'm not describing this well; I have a quart of whipping cream in the fridge and need to make butter again, so this next time, I will have someone videotape the pressing process.

Most people used to shape their butter into a ball, or use a butter mold to make it into the block shape we are used to seeing. Fanciful molds made of metal and chilled were often used to make creative pats for parties and special events.  I just kind of formed it into a semi ball and put a lid on it and put it in the fridge.

This is the finished result.

Finished butter, and the buttermilk behind.  You can use the buttermilk for all kinds of things - biscuits, fried chicken, any recipe.

This butter was used to bake with; the rest is still in the fridge and good weeks later. The whole process took less than 15 minutes.

This is a winning experiment to me!

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