Spring has spring and the pasture of the South Coast’s dairy farms have fired back into life. This means that the fat content of the milk is back on the rise which means it’s the perfect time to make your own butter. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a stand mixer and I can guarantee you that once you make your own, it’s very hard to go back to the store bought stuff.
1L of the best cream you can find. (I suggest the cream from the Tilba dairy, not that I’m biased or anything!)
A good pinch of salt.
Pour the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attached. Slowly start to whisk the mixture until the cream starts to take on air and increase in volume. Graduallly increase the speed to as high as you can without spraying cream all over your kitchen. While the cream is whisking, set up a colander over a large mixing bowl and line colander with muslin or chux cloth. As the cream continues to whisk, you’ll notice that it will start to become more granular in appearance and will look increasingly yellow. Continue whisking until the cream has distinctly separated into butter and buttermilk. If there mixture is wet but not split, it’s not there yet, wrap a tea towel around the top of the bowl to stop the buttermilk spraying everywhere and continue whisking on a high speed until the butter and buttermilk have separated.
Once the mixture has split, pour the contents of the mixing bowl into the colander. The buttermilk will pass through into the bowl below and the butter will remain in the cloth. Wrap the butter up and give it a good squeeze to remove more of the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk into a suitable vessel and keep it in the fridge to make pancakes, scones or fried chicken.
To finish the butter, throw a tray of ice cubes into a bowl of cold water and give the ball of butter a good squeeze between your fingers while submerged in the water to squeeze out the last of the buttermilk. Give the butter a good shake over the bowl to get rid of any excess water and then transfer the butter to a sheet of baking paper. Massage a good pinch of salt in to the butter, taste it and add more if you desire. Once the you’ve seasoned it to perfection, then wrap the mixture up into a log and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Serve by generously lashing the butter onto a piece of warm baguette.