Last week, I wrote a quick tip on making flavored (aka compound) butter, and it got me thinking why people insist on, as a standard, using softened, but not melted butter. Sometimes we just follow convention and accept it for what it is, but as you know, I like to trace back why to see if there’s good reason behind this and if the process for that reason can be improved upon with the benefit of the additional knowledge we have now. Also, I had thought about using clarified butter hoping it would be a healthier alternative.
As it turns out, the reason for this is because as you know, butter is made by churning cream and in this process, it is aerated. The air that’s incorporated into the cream as it becomes butter helps keep it soft, so while melting and clarifying the butter first may work, it certainly won’t be as smooth or soft as churned and whipped butter.
Of course, this also got me thinking … the process for making butter seems simple enough. Is there a way to make DIY butter at home? And sure enough, there is. Here’s a simple way to do it:
The video goes into all the wonderful science goodness how this works and why the cream is churned, but to summarize the steps quickly:
- Get cream, and leave at room temperature for ~12 hours allowing it to sour slightly
- Pour into a rigid airtight jar (preferably glass)
- Shake once firmly every second or so (do not shake as you would a carton of juice, this will cause the cream to whip, not churn)
- Do so for about 2-3 minutes until the cream starts to pull away from the jar and you’ll notice butter forming
- Pour off excess liquid (aka buttermilk)
- Quickly rinse off excess cream (which will eventually go rancid and spoil the butter)
And there you have it. Credit to Robert Krampf for his YouTube video: www.krampf.com.