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Homemade Butter (and Variations)

Homemade Butter (and Variations)

This butter will last at least 10 days, but the nice thing about making butter is it’s super-fresh taste, so sooner is better—although it will be better after a day.

Makes a scant cup
16 ounces (1 pint) heavy cream, very well chilled
Fine sea salt (optional)

  1. Fit the stirring blade into the work bowl. If you have time, chill the blade and bowl for 10 minutes or so before starting the butter.
  2. Fit the mixing tool in place. Pour the cream into the work bowl and mix on speed 3 for 7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and the lid if necessary.
  3. Scrape the contents of the work bowl into the cooking basket set over a bowl; let drain 5 to 10 minutes, pressing the butter against the sides of the basket to remove as much buttermilk as possible. (You can reserve the buttermilk drained from the butter for use in pancakes, muffins, etc.)
  4. Break the butter apart with a fork and return it to the bowl. Add ½ cup ice water and blend at speed 3 for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl and drain again as above (but don’t save this batch of buttermilk), pressing the butter against the side of the basket to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Return to the bowl and repeat the ice water/draining steps until the liquid that drains from the butter is clear, one or two times. 
  5. Wrap the butter completely in a double thickness of paper towels and knead it gently until most of the moisture is absorbed. (You can tell if most of the moisture is removed by switching to fresh paper towels once the first set is wet. Removing excess water from the butter will give the butter longer shelf life.) You should have no problem with the butter melting or getting soft from the warmth of your hands as you knead it if you started with a chilled work bowl and rinsed the butter in very cold ice water. 
  6. If you are going to make any of the variations below, put the butter in a small bowl and let it stand at room temperature until softened. Stir in the ingredients before refrigerating. If using the butter plain, simply spoon it into a crock, cover and refrigerate. 

VARIATIONS / COMPOUND BUTTERS

Compound Nut Butters
Almond or walnut compound butter: Fit the chopping blade into the work bowl. Toast 1½ ounces of slivered almonds or walnut pieces at 100 C on speed 1 for 20 minutes. Chop the toasted nuts using 4 to 5 pulses: the nuts should be finely chopped but not pulverized.

TIP: Whether making the almond butter or walnut butter, scrape the toasted, chopped nuts into a bowl and let them cool. While they’re cooling, remove the chopping blade, rinse out the work bowl with cold water and wipe it dry. Fit the stirring blade in the work bowl and refrigerate the work bowl until the nuts are cool before making the butter. A chilled work bowl will make better butter.

NOTE: The nuts may also be toasted in the oven at 350 F. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and toast, stirring them around the pan once, until evenly toasted, about 12 minutes for the slivered almonds or 15 minutes for chopped walnuts. Cool them completely before chopping and adding to the butter.

Herb Butters
Dill butter: Stir ¼ cup finely chopped dill into a finished batch of butter.
Chive butter: Stir 1/3 cup very thinly sliced fresh chives into a finished batch of butter.

NOTE: Add 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest to either of the herb butters if you like.

Condiment Butters
Mustard Butter: Stir 2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard into a finished batch of butter.
Season with a few grinds of fresh black pepper.
Sriracha Butter: Stir 2 tablespoons sriracha into a finished batch of butter. This will give you a fairly spicy butter; feel free to cut back if you like things mild. 

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