Now you, too, can make a better butter
Make your own butter? Yes, it takes a bit of time, but it’s easy to do.
1. Start with a mixing bowl, a spatula and a hand mixer. I’ve made butter in my KitchenAid stand mixer, but I like to use the hand mixer. It gets me closer to the product and allows me to actually feel the cream as it stiffens against the beater blades.
2. One cup of heavy whipping cream will yield about 1/2 cup of butter.
3. Place the whipping cream in the mixing bowl and beat at high speed for about 14 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Continue beating the cream beyond the stiff peak stage. At about the 10- to 12-minute mark, the cream will start to look a bit curdled. Within a couple minutes, the buttermilk will separate from the butter fat. Stop beating.
4. Place the butter in a fine-mesh strainer and press out the buttermilk. I’ve heard you can save the buttermilk for baking or drinking, but frankly, I’ve never done that.
5. The trick is to press out as much of the buttermilk as possible; otherwise the butter will spoil quickly. You may also wash the butter in several baths of ice water until the water is no longer cloudy. I only use this method if I’m going to keep the butter for more than a day.
As it is, the butter isn’t going to keep well in your fridge for very long, just a few days or so, but when served the same day you make it, sprinkled with sea salt and slathered on freshly baked bread, there’s usually never enough left over to store anyway.