My mum and brother are forever making their own butter. Whenever they see cream reduced down in the supermarket they will snatch it up and set to work with their respective Kenwood chefs churning it into thick creamy butter.
It’s not something that I’ve tried before but I have over-whipped cream many a time so I’ve had some experience at the process…
I know that you can flavour butter by simply mashing it up with chopped herbs and the like but I prefer the idea of actually infusing the flavours into the cream before churning it.
I realise the term churning might sound daunting but don’t worry, no one expects you to stand for hours with a plunger and a barrel. Getting a bit over zealous with an electric mixer is all that’s required.
You can really run wild with the flavours, sweet or savoury, though obviously avoid anything acidic that might sour the cream. Whole spices are a better option than ground versions because you can just fish them out of the cream before churning and you will still have wonderfully creamy butter.
These make really nice finishing butters, the lime and coriander one is great for frying prawns and squid in. Or you can use them in your baking to layer on the flavours.
Don’t throw away the buttermilk that you get from the process. This is very low fat and, taking into account what you have flavoured it with, can be used in lots of baking recipes. I used my coriander buttermilk instead of natural yoghurt in a curry.
I’ve done quite small quantities here because I was using up some cream that I had leftover from another recipe but you can really make any quantity you like.
Makes 110g butter and 100ml buttermilk
Orange & cinnamon butter
300ml double cream
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 strips of orange zest
Coriander & lime butter
300ml double cream
3 strips of lime zest
small bunch of coriander (including stalks)
Put the cream in a small pan and add your chosen flavourings. Fresh herbs will benefit from a bit of a bashing to release extra flavour. Gently heat this until the cream starts to bubble. Give it a stir every now and then to make sure that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
Remove this from the heat and leave it to cool before putting it in the fridge to chill completely. I like to infuse the cream and then leave it overnight. The longer that you leave the stronger the flavour will be.
Once it has chilled you can strain out the flavourings. Put the cream into a large clean bowl and begin to beat it. A stand mixer makes this easiest but a hand mixer will work too.
The cream should get to the stage of looking like ordinary whipped cream. Continue past this, I know it feels wrong but trust me. It should then look like over whipped cream and might change colour a tiny bit. Keep going.
After this stage you will hopefully start to see some of the buttermilk seeping out. A bit more beating and it should look like wet cottage cheese. I realise this sounds very unpleasant but it’s worth it.
Once the curds have separated from the buttermilk you can stain them out using an ordinary sieve. Remember not to waste the buttermilk. Put the curds back into the mixing bowl and beat them again to try to get a bit more buttermilk out of it. Strain it again and then tip the curds into a bowl of very cold water. It’s really important to rinse out any residual buttermilk as this is what will make your butter sour more quickly. Keep rinsing and straining the curds in fresh water until it stays clear.
Use your hands to bring the curds together in the water so that you have a solid lump of butter.
Either pack this into a sterilised pot or wrap tightly in greaseproof paper or clingfilm and refrigerate until needed. I used these cute little jars because I had recently bought them and was desperate to use them!