While some may raise their own meat livestock, others may simply use the by-products (eggs, milk, cream, etc.) of those animals. Either way, the only way to know what goes into our foods is to be the ones feeding the animals, preferably with an all organic, non-gmo, non-soy feed. We, personally, do not raise any animals for slaughter. We, to put it simply, have a farm full of pets.
One item that is an important staple on any homestead is butter. I used to wait until the natural, no-salt butter was on sale and, then, I would stock up and store it in the freezer. That’s one way to do it. But, why not make your own? One ingredient, some kitchen gadgets and a little time and you could be storing your own, homemade butter.
The only ingredient you will need is whipping cream. We do not like salt in our butter, so we skip that addition. There are times, though, when a nice herbal or flavored butter would suit the menu. Consider adding lemon zest, parsley, thyme, cinnamon, chives, mustard, honey, garlic (including roasted cloves), oregano, basil, tarragon, onion, cracked peppercorns or rosemary. You can also add honey, preserves (pear is a good choice), diced pecans, brown sugar or pureed fresh fruits.
***Please Note herbal butters will not last as long as plain butter. If you are making herbal butters, make smaller portions. They will keep in the fridge about a month and in the freezer for about 3-4 months.
For the purpose of this recipe, we will be making a simple, plain butter – which is anything but plain.
food processor or large mixer
large mixing bowl
a sieve (store this in the fridge so it will be cold when used)
2. Pour the cream into the food processor or KitchenAid mixer. This will act as your “butter-churn” with no stirring on your part needed.
3. As you mix, continue until the cream turns to a yellow, grainy texture and is collapsing back upon itself. There will be some separation between the cream and the buttermilk. Stop the mixer immediately when you see this separation to prevent the finished butter from being too greasy.
4. Pour the contents from the mixer through the cold sieve, draining off all of the liquid. You can save the liquid separately, as it is buttermilk, and it can be used for cooking and baking.
5. Once separated, rinse the butter with cold water until it runs clear.
6. Put the butter into a large mixing bowl and and begin to knead. You need to make sure that your hands are cold before kneading. The easiest way to insure this is to run your hands under cold water before beginning. The kneading process will separate the butter from the water used for rinsing.
7. Pour off the water. Continue to work the butter with your hands and form it into the desired shape (or use butter molds). Wrap in parchment paper and/or foil and store in the refrigerator.
Instead of making round or stick butter, consider using butter molds like these:
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