Impress Your Friends – Make Butter From Scratch

What do you think?

This is a clever trick to impress your friends. Anybody can make butter, from scratch, using only three pieces of equipment (that most of us have in our kitchens) and fresh cream.

You won’t believe how simple this is. Your friends will be amazed!

Perhaps it’s a result of our modern world – most of us no longer know how to make this commodity. Our great-grandparents may have made their own butter. If not, their great-grandparents certainly did. We have lost the knack in just a few generations.

Making butter is so simple, you have to try it.

Step One: The Equipment

This is all you need:

  1. A mixing bowl – preferably pyrex
  2. An electric mixer – with whisk attachments
  3. A sieve or colander

Step Two: The Ingredient(s)

  1. Fresh double cream (cold, straight from your fridge)
  2. If you want to make salted butter, a teaspoon of salt (I use sea salt), or more to taste

That’s it. And perhaps five minutes of patience.

Step Three: The Process

Here is where the magic happens….! You’re going to make butter.

  1. Pour the double cream into the bowl.
  2. Whisk the cream with the electric mixer. And whisk it. And whisk it. Whisk on medium power. Just keep whisking.
  3. After a few minutes, you will notice the cream starts to change color to a pale yellow.
  4. Whisk some more.
  5. Keep going with the whisking. The cream starts to thicken and clump up, turning more yellowish as it does. You might want to turn the power of the electric whisk down, or be happy with being splashed with the emerging liquid.
  6. Eventually, what you will end up with is a bowl of butter and a lot of watery liquid.
  7. Turn the contents of the bowl into your sieve or colander, over a sink. This gets rid of most of the liquid and leaves a lump of yellow, fatty solids behind. It might look like cottage cheese at this stage.
  8. Now, with clean and cold hands, squeeze the butter until you have extracted as much water as you can.
  9. Tip the butter into the bowl (after drying the bowl off with a paper towel.)
  10. If you want to add salt, add it now and mix it in thoroughly with a spatula. Mix in the salt thoroughly or expect a salty surprise later on.
  11. Hey Presto! You have butter!!! It should be just like you buy from the supermarket. Actually: better.
  12. Taste a little (on bread if you must.) Add more salt if desired.
  13. What I like to do is to put the butter in cooking parchment/greaseproof paper, and roll it into a sausage shape. Twist the ends so it looks like a Christmas Cracker. Bang it in the fridge if not using immediately, or turn out into a butter dish if you’re using it straight away.
  14. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge easily. If after that time your butter begins to smell ‘cheesy’ then it’s gone off.

Note: you can do this with single cream, but it takes longer. It works with 100% milk too, but be prepared to whisk for much longer, and pour away more water. Extra-thick double cream works but not as well in my experience.

You’ve impressed your buddies with this quick and easy process! How cool is that?

Instead of salt (or in addition to) you could add minced garlic and herbs to make garlic butter (great for making garlic bread with.)

If your friends don’t think this is the coolest thing they have seen this day, then they must work on a farm or in a dairy!

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