I love butter! Who doesn't? Certainly butter is one of those foods that is best consumed in moderation, so why not eat the best butter available? There is plenty of research out there about the importance of including good fats in our diets, and butter is a good fat! Yet not all butter is created equal. I have provided a couple of links at the end of this post which discuss all the good things found in butter as well as some not so great butters to avoid.
Here at Kimball Brook Farm, we love butter too. When I first started working for KBF, I used to make a lot of butter from our amazing heavy cream. About 3 years ago, we started making cultured butter at the creamery. I had not had cultured butter before and after one taste of ours, I was hooked. What is cultured butter? No it’s not butter we took to Paris, yet it’s as good as the European butters in flavor and better yet, it’s local! We add a microbial (live) culture to the heavy cream and let it “culture” for at least 6 hours before churning. That is the science behind it, but what it means to our palette is a real depth of flavor, the first taste on your tongue is good and then it gets better. Yum!
With it being so easy to just grab a tub of KBF's butter at the store I stopped making my own sweet cream kind for a really long time, but this summer I found myself missing the joy of making my own and so decided to get back to it! Today, I am going to share with you how to make your own butter and compound butter. It's simple and delicious!
What you'll need:
- Ball Jar with Lid or Food Processor
- KBF heavy cream
Ball Jar Method (Great to do with kids!)
Half fill the ball jar with the heavy cream (you need to leave space for the separation). Secure the lid and start shaking. Shake, shake, shake! Soon a ball will start to form. Keep shaking until the ball is compact and the liquid is thin. This liquid is buttermilk, so be sure to save for adding to pancake or biscuit recipes.
Add in some cold, clean water and shake a little more, giving the butter a clean water wash. Pour off the water and put the butter in a bowl. With a rubber spatula, press all the excess liquid out of the butter. Make sure to get all the liquid out, as any left will make the butter go rancid.
Food Processor Method
If using a food processor pour in the cream, secure the lid and turn the button to the highest setting. After about 3 to 5 minutes, you will see solids starting to form. Keep going until you have a big ball of butter! The thin liquid that forms is buttermilk. Be sure to save this for another recipe. After pouring off the buttermilk, add fresh water, power again and then pour out all the liquid. Transfer it to a bowl and, with a rubber spatula, press all the extra liquid out of the butter. Make sure to get all the liquid out, as any left will make the butter go rancid.
Now you have butter! Grab a knife and spread on some bread or a cracker. This soft sweet butter is divine.
If you're feeling adventurous, why not try making compound butter? What is compound butter? Quite simply it's flavored butter, which can be sweet or savory! Below are two recipes for compound butters which I enjoy making. You can use your own homemade butter or our KBF cultured butter.
The first is what I like to call my Simon & Garfunkel butter; with fresh sage, rosemary and thyme (parsley doesn't add much). I also like to add a little roasted garlic (about one clove). Finally chop the herbs (about a teaspoon each, less if you're using dried herbs) and then fold the ingredients into the softened butter.
For a sweet butter, I like to add maple syrup (about a quarter cup or to taste). Another favorite is a little sugar and cinnamon. Basically you can add whatever you like!
After adding your ingredients, put the butter in a container or roll it into a log with wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Then you can slice discs off the roll and put the patties on steak, biscuits, in the pan to cook eggs or veggies, or right on to an ear of corn. Butter also freezes very well and can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Be creative, add what you like and enjoy! Here are a couple of links to more compound butter recipes.
Here are a couple of interesting articles, one about good butter versus not so good butter and one about all the things in butter that are good for us.
Butter is great in any and every season and is always a wonderful addition to most anything coming from the kitchen or grill.
Enjoy and Cheers!