Butter. To me, nothing compares to butter other than bacon. If you’re not aware, I could survive the zombie apocalypse with butter and bacon alone. That’s the truth. BUT not only could I live off of butter and bacon, I would be eating healthy because it would be cultured butter!
I had been informed that making butter was as easy as shaking it in a jar, I kinda just smiled and in my head thought, sure it is. I want it noted that I tried the shake the butter trick and failed, but it was the operator’s fault, not the technique. I will fully admit that. To the hundreds of people who told me it could be done you were right, it is as easy as that, and the kids got a kick out of making butter by shaking it in a jar!
However, in order to satisfy my butter addiction I need something more than a half pint of butter at a time, this was going to require me to make large batch. And trust me, I am totally okay with that!
Here’s something a wee bit off topic about myself. I learn how to homesteading by placing lifestyle skills on levels and I secretly, I guess it’s not so much a secret anymore, award myself badges (you know, like girl scout badges) when I have learned that particular skill. By nature I am a jump-in-and-do-it kinda gal, much to my husbands dismay. When I become fixated on learning something I tend to bypass the swan dive and belly flop in, there’s no holding me back, and I continue to do it until I am comfortable with the technique. I can’t say I have mastered anything. I think life really never allows one to ‘master’ things, we are simply allowed to be really good at it.
With that said, I am sure you can figure out which badge I am currently working on, and in case you can’t figure it out, it’s cultured foods. You know, foods that have been fermented and are packed full of good bacteria and live cultures, which provide awesome gut health for a better, healthier you.
Butter, back to butter. I wanted to make real butter. I was seeking that creamy rich buttery flavor that you can only get from making it yourself. I quickly discovered that you can make cultured butter with unpasteurized heavy cream; by all things good and delicious, that’s what I set out to do.
The steps are quite simple, the benefits are amazing, and the flavor is fabulous. If you haven’t yet made cultured butter, this is the time to do it! You will not go back to the store bought stuff after this.
Unfortunately, we are not lucky enough to own a dairy cow, so off to our local market I went to pick up some unpasteurized heavy cream. If you are planning on giving this a try know that you need to pick up unpasteurized cream; pasteurized cream is not capable to form live cultures without the help of some buttermilk culture. If you’re okay with making simple sweet cream butter (which is still amazing) go with pasteurized cream an mix it in your Kitchenade, blender, or food processor for about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you’d like to give cultured butter a try the steps are just as easy. Pour the unpasteurized heavy cream in a glass vessel and cover it with a clean towel, allowing it to ripen for about 6 to 12 hours; how long it takes to ferment depends on the temperature of your home. If your house is a bit on the chilly side expect that it could take longer than 12 hours. You will know when the cream is ripe, it will produces a slightly sour taste. If the cream is bubbly, or smells a bit “off”, has traces of mold, or smells yeasty toss it. It is no bueno!
For the sake of convenience, mainly because many of us do not have a butter churner, pour the heavy cream into your Kitchenade, blender, or food processor. Start it out on low, slowly increasing the speed as the heavy cream begins to thickens.
Within a few minutes you will see the cream become the consistency of whipped cream, this is a sign that you are heading in right direction!
Within a few more minutes of mixing the cream will thicken and look like cottage cheese. Keep mixing, you’re almost there!
Roughly after 15 minutes of mixing you will see the butter start to form and separate, what is left behind is a-mazing buttermilk.
Your final step is going to be to wash the butter. Using cold water and a wooden spoon press out the buttermilk from the butter. To be honest, I used my hands to squeeze the butter and it was much easier than with the spoon. It’s going to take about 3 to 5 washes in cold water to remove the buttermilk from the butter. Make sure to not skip this step, wash and squeeze the butter as often as you need to, removing the buttercream will prevent the butter from going rancid and help it to keep longer.
If you’d like to make salted butter, add a small pinch (the key is, add very small pinches at a time!) and mix in well.
This butter hardens once it’s cold, but a spreadable butter can made by adding a very small amount of light tasting olive oil and mixing well.
That’s it. That’s all it takes to make butter. Cultured butter takes about 10 hours and 30 minutes from start to finish, 95% of the time it just sits there looking good. Sweet cream butter will only take about 20 minutes to make, and if you’re not planning on using a butter churner, it’s only 5 minutes of hands on time!
You can get a little fancy with your homemade cultured butter by adding herbs or raw honey to make it even more fabulous!
I found a few new recipe to use our cultured buttermilk with and I think my family is going to love them. If you have any recipes you’d like to share we’d love to try them!
Fried Green Tomatoes by Floyd Family Homestead
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing by Homespun Seasonal Living
If you’d like to freeze your buttermilk for later use, Happy Days Farm has a great blog for you.
We will be updating this post with some of our own recipes once we create something fabulous with it! Stay tuned.