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Cultured Butter In A Snap

February 19, 2011

This is my fifth or sixth time making cultured butter with this Traveler’s Lunchbox recipe. This time, it’s an impromptu affair: There is cream left over, and we’re out of butter.

I love to make cultured butter. It just couldn’t be easier. Here’s what I did this time with the ingredients I had on hand:

  • Poured about a 4 cups of cream into a mixing bowl
  • Added two tablespoon’s worth of plain Greek yogurt
  • Allowed to stand for about 6 hours (I usually do overnight)
  • Beat the #$($#%* out of it with an electric mixer (you can do it by hand, but your arms will fall off)
  • Poured the buttermilk off after the cream broke into liquid and solid
  • Smooshed ice water into it with a paddle until the water ran clear off the butter
  • Packed the butter into a clay European yogurt cup (love these)

If you don’t have a electric beater, this is really hard work. Best to take turns. The first time we made this butter, we were beating it by hand; if our friends hadn’t sworn that it would work, we would have given up halfway through.

So that you don’t give up on the beating before it yields butter, I’m including some pictures of the process — from frothy liquid to foaming peaks to broken cream. Be careful that you turn your beater down as soon as the cream threatens to break, or else you’ll get buttermilk all over the place.

Buttermilk is, of course, the byproduct of turning cream into butter, and it is fantastic. If you make this by leaving the cream out overnight, you can use the buttermilk in pancakes — or just drink it down. And be sure not to leave any buttermilk in the butter. If you don’t do a good job of washing the buttermilk out of the butter, the buttermilk will go rancid and your butter will smell and taste sour well before it ought.

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