Ellaberry Gardens
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Makin' Butter


I've been making butter for our family from raw cream since 2001.  Raw butter is wonderful because it has never been pasteurized or homogenized so all those enzymes that are good for you and help you process the milk fats are still alive!  Except for during part of our 2 year homesteading "experiment" when we had our own dairy cow, I've been buying cream from Swan's Dairy in Claremore, OK.  Good stuff.  You can also skim the cream off of their raw whole milk.
 
Since we've been doing this, we've been "churning" in canning jars.  I keep thinking I'll get a real nice Dazey butter churn and a butter board and butter paddles and butter molds when I can afford it.  But that's all real expensive and the system we have works just fine!
 
So, after you buy your cream, you're going to want to keep it for a few days (at least) so the cream can mature or ripen.  Extremely fresh cream has virtually no "curdling" bacteria and will just make whipped cream.  Whipped cream is great with pie but not so great if you want butter!  Just know that occasionally, no matter what, you'll get whipped cream.  It happens to us once or twice a year.  The chickens love it.  Us, not so much.
 
You're going to need:

•raw cream (pasteurized works, if you must)
•quart or larger jar with leak-proof lid (and those plastic caps you can buy for canning jars...just like the white one below...are NOT leak-proof!)
•bowl large enough to hold 1 quart of liquid with a bit of extra room to stir
•large wooden/bamboo spoon
•glass containers for storing buttermilk and butter in refrigerator
•salt (optional)

Step 1:  Leave your cream out to ripen (basically sitting until it reaches room temperature...not cool to the touch at all.)  Often, I'll sit mine out on the counter at night for butter making the next morning.



Step 2:  Pour your cream into a very clean glass jar.  I do 1 pint at a time in a 1 quart canning jar.  It's the easiest size for me to handle.  Screw on a leak-proof lid and begin shaking the jar.  The cream will be very thick and coat the insides of the jar so you can barely see through.  When the butter begins to separate from the buttermilk, you'll feel the liquid get heavier and then all of the sudden the butter will break loose and you'll be able to see through the jar again.  Open your jar and look in.  Now you have a big ole' clump of butter floating around in some buttermilk.



Pics of what your pint of cream will look like in the jar after churning.

Step 3:  Pour entire contents of jar (butter and buttermilk) into a bowl big enough to hold a quart of liquid.  Pour off the buttermilk and save for pancakes, waffles or biscuits!







Step 4: Now you have to wash your butter.  I simply run mine under cool tap water.  You add a little water and press it out of the butter and pour it out...over and over again until the liquid coming out is as clear as you can get it.  If you can get sort of a paddling motion going with your spoon, it's very helpful.  The clearer the water, the longer your butter will last without souring.  Just be careful because the butter is very, very soft.  We've lost entire batches down the drain more than once.   If you're going to salt your butter, now is the time.  I simply sprinkle my salt shaker over it a few times if I'm going to salt it.  I typically don't so I can control the amount of salt in my recipes.  If you do use salt, mix it in really well.  Also, this is the perfect time to mix in honey or garlic or any other herb because the butter is so soft when it's freshly churned.  Next put your butter into the container you're going to put it away in.  Either refrigerate or freeze. You're done!  Yum yum!  Enjoy! 


 







Nearly 2 cups of butter and 3 oz buttermilk from one pint of Swan's raw cream.





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