Last week I had a go at making butter at home from fresh cream. I'm working on a personal book project currently (you can find out more about that here) and I was inspired by my Dad's recount of how they made butter from the cream that settled to the top of the bucket after milking the cows when he was a child. I read somewhere recently too that butter is one of the top ten foods in NZ for highest pesticide residue, so if you could source local, organic fresh cream in glass bottles this would be an ultimate way to reduce some of the unknown chemicals we are ingesting every day!
I had a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen. I made butter. I made baking for the week's lunchboxes. I made bread. And I made up some more homemade cleaning solutions (which I will blog soon!). There's something very rewarding about making and baking when you know all the simple ingredients that you're using.
For the butter I just whisked cream in my mixing bowl for about 5-10 minutes until it separated and formed lumps of butter. I drained off the buttermilk which is the watery residue and used this for making amazing buttermilk scones. I took the lumps of butter and pressed it all together into one lump of butter with my hands, gently squeezing out any leftover buttermilk. Then I rinsed the lump of butter in cold water before putting into a jar ready to use for the day's baking and of course to spread on the scones and bread! I didn't bother but you could add salt to taste if you wanted.
From an economical perspective; unless you have access to free cream it doesn't make much sense to make butter when you can buy it for relatively the same price as the cream you need to make it. But homemade butter just seems a little more delicious because of the fun it is making it! If I ever have cream going to waste this will be a good way to put it to use. And maybe if you already buy full cream raw milk this would be a fun way to use the cream on top.
It took approximately 600ml to make 225grams of butter for me. And this also gave me a jar of buttermilk which was the perfect amount for a batch of scones.