What could be more enjoyable than creamy butter spread onto a nice piece of good bread? Homemade butter made from the best cream you can possibly find spread onto a nice piece of good bread.
This morning was devoted to butter making. And by “devoted to” I mean to say that I poured some heavy cream into my stand mixer, put on the whisk attachment and beat it on medium-high for about 20 minutes. I watched TV during this time. Then I squeezed the butter until dry in some cheesecloth. Then I ate some (on a cracker, if you’re curious) and put the rest into the fridge. Delightfully buttery and creamy – which isn’t wholly surprising, since it was actually butter.
For this particular batch of butter, I used raw milk from Organic Pastures Dairy. What is raw cream? It is cream that hasn’t been pasteurized, homogenized or had any other processing done to it. Pasteurization involves heating milk to 161 degrees F, hot enough to denature the enzymes that cause spoilage and kill any harmful bacteria. While I certainly wouldn’t use any old raw dairy products, Organic Pastures has been producing a very high quality product for years and is available at several markets in my area.
That said, you can easily make butter with pasteurized cream (regular pasteurized is preferable to ultrapasteurized in this case). Butter made this way will have a neutral flavor to it, so I find it to be slightly better for baking, and the butter will keep much longer than one made with raw cream. Pasteurized cream is also much more widely available and is much less expensive than raw milk. In fact, if you make butter with regular cream at home, it may actually turn out to be less expensive than buying butter – and it’s a lot of fun, too!
2 cups heavy cream
Pour cream into a stand mixer, put on the whisk attachment and beat it on medium-high for about 20 minutes. There will be yellow clumps sticking to the whisk and/or floating in liquid when beating is complete. Strain into a container over cheesecloth. Using the cheesecloth, squeeze the butter until dry. Discard remaining liquid.
Yield: Approx. 1 cup butter
Note: To make salted butter, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (to taste) the the butter right at the end of mixing before you squeeze the butter.