Buttering up

I was a frequent flyer at the Festival of Food tent at Latitude Festival last weekend.  All sorts, from a recording of The Kitchen Cabinet, baking, sourdough. Felicity Cloake (How to Cook the Perfect…. in The Guardian) was worth seeing, if only for her tips on making butter.

Yesterday morning I thought I’d have a go – having loads to do already, it seemed a good way of not getting on with what really needed to be done!

900ml double cream (95p per 300ml from Asda).  2 tbsp live yogurt.  Put it in the food mixer bowl and use the balloon whisk.  First, whisk it to the point where you might use it for spreading the cream on a cake or a trifle.  Then continue whisking until the curds separate from the whey.  Strain through sterile muslin and squeeze out all the buttermilk (the whey), and reserve this.  Put back in the bowl with 500ml ice cold water. Whisk again (the reason for this is to wash out the buttermilk which turns the butter sour if it is too wet).  Drain again. ‘Wash’ again and whisk.  Drain again.  Now squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Turn out the solids into a clean dry bowl or onto a new piece of muslin and sprinkle with seasalt to taste.  If I had kept my granny’s butter paddles I would have used them at this stage to ‘pat’ and turn the butter.  But I had failed to recognise what use they might be and they went to a jumble sale 20 years ago.  Instead I used two spatulas.

The result was 500g of butter, which in £££ terms is better value than buying two 250g packs of President or similar.

My reward was fresh bread, spread with butter then with Marmite.  Bliss!

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