Monday, 8 October 2012

Cultured French butter, unpredictable yet so special

The butter we get here in Australia is nice, good flavour and good consistency. Not to mention great to,cook with, but the traditional,cultured butter of France and the old days, is the most splendid of things and the simplest thing to make with the main ingredients being patience and cream.

They key to good butter is great cream, and the fresher the better so if you have a local dairy or a farmer who will part with some of their liquid gold always go for that option, but, if like me, you are just starting out and want to give it a try, then get single cream ( unthickened with no additives) from the supermarket along with some natural yoghurt

To make 250 gms of butter you will need

  • 500ml single cream
  • 2 tbsp of natural live yoghurt ( or buttermilk from a previous batch)
Now the first part is simply about time and sterilisation. I use a jar with a clasp on it for convenience but you can really use any container that will hold all the cream you want to turn to butter. Make sure you sterilise this properly. I use the Milton sterilisation tablets and some cold water to rinse it out afterwards. This part is really important because you need a clean place for good bacteria to grow.

Next add your cream and yoghurt to you container and stir so it is combined properly, then close the lid and leave at room temp (approx 20 degrees c) for 12 hours. In this time the bacteria will grow and slightly thicken and sour the cream, don't worry this is what we want because is will give your butter all it's flavour.

Pour all this cream into either a buttern churn or a mixer with a paddle. I have the advantage of a mixer with a cream whipping attachment, it's very fast but doesn't allow a lot of buttermilk to come out while it is churning. Either way on slow allow this to churn, it will first turn to whipped cream, then as the butter fat particles start to group together it will start to turn yellow and then you will notice it will split, continue to mix until the butter clumps together.

Put all of this into a bowl and drain all the buttermilk into a sterilised jar and keep for making the next lot of butter, or buttermilk scones.

Chill the mix and once cold start to compress and get rid of all the buttermilk out of the butter.

Keep cool and it will last in your fridge for about a week... If it lasts that long!

Have fun!

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