This post comes to us courtesy of Chi Dixon, blogger at Chi’s Food.
I love butter. Never mind its reputation for being fattening or otherwise a diet no-no — butter is one of those fats that adds an unmistakable umami to foods. Hang the diet, it’s worth the cheat.
It seems lately the trend is toward artisanal butters, hand churned, small batch, locally sourced and all that jazz. My local grocer carries more brands of butter than might be absolutely necessary – some with names that evoke milkmaids with wooden churning devices wearing clogs and smiling as they do the physical labor required to turn fresh milk into creamy homemade butter.
I am not that rustic.
Besides, making fresh butter is way easier than that. It takes all of maybe 15 minutes, start to finish, and most of that time is dedicated to expelling the extra liquid from the final product.
Easy Homemade Butter
One pint of heavy cream, not half-and-half – real heavy cream. The fat content of the cream is what smashes together to make the butter, so no substituting here.
Salt to taste – generally somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/4 tsp. is sufficient. You can always undersalt and add more later, but there’s no extracting salt from over-salted butter. I actually skip the salt altogether and add it back later during cooking or when mixing in flavors.
|Pour the cream into a food processor and blend on the highest setting. First the liquid will turn into whipped cream, then as you keep going, you’ll see it begin to reduce in volume as the milk fats start to bind together.
|Keep a sharp eye on the process and you’ll see the butter start to form crumbles and you’ll notice a fair amount of liquid begin to gather — this is the BEST buttermilk you’ll ever taste; think of it as a little treat for the cook.|
As a special treat, you can make spectacular flavored butters. Try one of the suggestions below and add as much or as little of the flavor elements as you like. Most importantly, have fun!
- Lemon butter: Add the zest from one large lemon — fantastic with powdered sugar atop French toast.
- Cinnamon and sugar butter: Add cinnamon and sugar and spread on a warm piece of whole wheat toast.
- Chive butter: Add fresh chives, a clove of garlic, sage and flat-leaf parsley, all finely chopped. Serve a generous scoop on top of a rib-eye steak.
- Honey butter: Add honey for a sweet treat to smear on fresh popovers.
- Strawberry butter: Add crushed dehydrated strawberries, perfect for melting into the squares of a warm waffle.
- Spiced nut-raisin butter: Add golden raisins, walnuts, sugar and 5-spice powder to make a savory schmear for a bagel.
About the author: Chi didn’t realize she could cook until she was well into her 20’s – then she discovered that it was one of the things she liked doing the most! As a top 100 contestant on MasterChef season 2, Chi discovered her hobby was more of a passion and has been exploring this passion since. Her objective is to de-mystify cooking and make it approachable and fun for anyone with the desire to set foot in the kitchen.
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