When thinking about changing your lifestyle from full-throttle to simple, there are some things that just don’t seem to add up. Take butter, for example. It is just too easy to throw a pound or two in your shopping cart and call it good. It probably doesn’t even cross your mind to make your own.
Even if you don’t do it on a regular basis, you need to do it at least once. For starters, it’s fun to do. Another benefit is that it can be a family affair, especially if you choose the Mason Jar Method. I do mine in the food processor. Five minutes compared to thirty or forty minutes being shaken by hand was the deciding factor. If you have kids, they can all take turns shaking the jar so no one gets too tired in the process.
1 pint well-chilled Heavy Whipping Cream (do NOT get homogenized)
1 Pint Mason Jar with lid –or- Food Processor with the blade attachment
Canning or cheese salt – if desired
Pour cream into jar and secure the lid. Shake until butter separates. This can take about 30 to 40 minutes or longer, depending on the strength of agitation.
OR – pour cream into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on high. It takes approximately five minutes to go through the process. Within two minutes or so, the cream will become whipped. Another three minutes or so, and the whipped cream will begin to break down, leaving large yellow blobs floating in a milky liquid. That blob is your butter.
Transfer the butter to a glass bowl, and drain the liquid. Using the wooden spoon, knead the butter to remove any excess liquid. Pour ice water over the butter, and continue to knead, draining as needed. This step needs to be repeated until any liquid remaining comes out clear. Once the liquid is clear, drain. Continue the knead/drain process until you remove as much liquid as possible. Add salt, if you so choose – start with a pinch, taste, then add more as needed until you get the flavor you want.
If you aren’t going to serve it right away, keep your fresh butter wrapped in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. You do want to use it within three days to a week, or freeze it for later. Want to get fancy? Roll out your butter between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and use small cookie cutters for individual servings. Your family won’t know what to think!