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butterpat21

I think the one and only time of year double cream seems to take up room in my fridge is Christmas.  I always worry I am going to run out and tend to overbuy.  Usually by Boxing day I realise that I have too much left and start to feel guilty that unless I use it I will have to throw it out.  It has been known for double cream to be poured over the breakfast cereal as a way of using it up but I have been brain washed that too much double cream is bad for you.   Then I realised that I could turn it into butter and freeze it.  End of guilt.

Many moons ago, I shared a house with a know it all cousin who was never fazed by anything or anyone.  He always had buttered toast for breakfast.  One morning he came down for breakfast to discover the butter dish was bare and that was the day I smugly sat and wondered what he would do?  Unfazed he disappeared into the kitchen only to re-appear at the door with a glass jar and the top of the milk (milk used to come delivered to the door with a thick amount of cream at the top);  this he proceeded to shake.  I scoffed and ate my not so nice dry toast.  Half an hour later he was spreading his toast with the newly made butter, admittedly there was a tiny amount, but butter it was.  The word choke and toast did come to mind.

Home made Butter

Ingredients

Double Cream

Salt or herbs (optional)

Equipment

Whisk or Kenwood mixer using the K beater, food processor or glass jar and a strong wrist.  Wooden spoon or Hands (Wooden Pats).

Cream turning into butter with the buttermilk at the bottom

Pour any amount of double cream into a clean bowl – there are no specific quantities – the more double cream you have the more butter you will end up with.

Whisk, keep on whisking until it starts to become thick and forming soft peaks.  At this stage slow the whisk to a minimum or you will be wiping the walls clean of buttermilk and specks of butter for many hours. Whisk on very low for a minute and stop.  The cream will have separated, producing a large lump of butter and a pool of buttermilk.

Sieve the buttermilk into a bowl and save, this can be used for scones etc. The butter clump now needs to be rinsed in cold water – the colder the better.  Rinse the butter until the water becomes clear – this can be up to seven times or even more.  The reason is to get rid of as much of the remaining buttermilk, as this is what will make the butter turn rancid too quickly.

Once the butter has been rinsed it will need to be beaten.  This can be a very relaxing and stress relieving stage.  Use the back of a wooden spoon or invest in some hands and slap the butter about, this encourages the last drops of buttermilk to drain out.

Separated buttermilk and butter

Finally, either add salt or herbs to taste, and with the hands form into pats, logs or bricks and wrap in greaseproof paper.  The butter will last about a week in the fridge and three months in the freezer.

I bought three pots of 600 ml of double cream out of which I made 940g of butter.  Buying double cream to make butter is quite a luxury so I tend to look out for when it’s massively reduced at the supermarket.  I also find whisking up any left over double cream to make butter is a good way of not wasting food.

I bought my butter Hands from http://www.ascott-dairy.co.uk or you could try ebay.

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