I love the taste of fresh butter and I adore the taste of flavored butters on fresh baked breads and rolls. The trouble is homemade butter is expensive to buy and troublesome to make. That is, I thought it was.
I read about a simple way to make fresh butter from cream that is so simple I wondered why I never thought of it. If you have access to fresh cream from cows, that is wonderful. But if you don’t, you can buy cream at the store and get as close to the fresh butter experience as possible. Make sure you buy cultured cream.
Place the cream in a large metal mixing bowl and set it in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. You want about ½ inch of it to freeze to the sides of the bowl. Place the bowl on the mixing stand, attach your whisk attachment and bowl shields. Turn the mixer on as high as you can without splattering the frozen the cream. The mixing takes 15 to 20 minutes. Large clumps of yellow will begin to appear in the bottom of the bowl.
Place a colander inside another bowl. Pour the contents of your mixing bowl into the colander. The clumps of butter can be lifted away and in the bowl below you have buttermilk which you can save for other uses.
Gather the clumps and gently massage them under cold running water at the kitchen sink. You can store this fresh butter in disposable plastic freezer containers marked with the date. It keeps for up to 12 months in the freezer.
But what about adding flavor? Regular salted butter can be made by placing the butter in a bowl immediately after the rinsing step. Tip the bowl a bit to let any excess water run out. Salt to taste. A good rule of thumb is one-half teaspoon per half pound of butter.
Fruit Flavored Butters
You can make a gourmet-style butter for next to nothing, even using store-bought butter. Use ½ cup of softened butter, homemade or store-bought, ¼ cup of berries of your choice and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until combined. For sweeter butter, add ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Experiment with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, any kind you prefer. These keep for up to one month.
For a sweet treat that goes great on fresh rolls, try combining ½ cup of butter with 1 ½ tablespoons of honey. For added flavor, toss in 2 tablespoons of toasted pecan pieces. Run the mixture through the blender or food processor until well blended.
Next time you want to add a little flair to a meal but don’t want to spend big bucks to do it, add some homemade or flavored butter to your table. Your guests won’t believe their taste buds.