We had a ‘quiet’ day at home today, because my car is in the garage being mended. So we did some Science and some Maths, and then we watched some of the French Open tennis. And then I needed to find something that would burn off some of the excess energy that Lyle has on the days when he doesn’t train.
So we decided to make some butter to go with the loaf of bread that I was planning to bake later. And it is without doubt the easiest recipe we’ve ever made together!
We followed the recipe in River Cottage Family Cookbook* - it’s so simple that you could easily do this as a rainy day activity with a young child. You probably wouldn’t want to make your own butter every day, but it’s fun to do.
All you need is a clean jam jar and some double cream – take the cream out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before you need to use it so that it’s not icy cold.
Pour the cream into the jar so that it’s about one-third full, and screw on the lid tightly. And then shake…and shake…and shake…
At first you will feel the cream start to thicken, and there won’t be much sound from the jar. Carry on shaking, and don’t stop – it’s a good idea to take it in turns if you’re doing this with a younger child, it will really tire their arms!
The amount of time it takes to turn to butter could be anything from 5 minutes up to 30 minutes – I guess it depends how vigorously you are shaking it. Suddenly, you will feel a bit of a thud in the jar, and a sloshing noise – it really is quite odd! If you look inside at this point, you’ll see a lump of yellowish butter, surrounded by thin white liquid (this is buttermilk).
Drain off the buttermilk – you could use this in cooking if you have enough of it. You then need to gently wash the butter in cool water, filling and emptying the jamjar until the water runs clear.
Then empty your precious little pat of butter onto a wooden board and squeeze it with the back of a spoon or your hand. You want to make sure that you get out any buttermilk that might be trapped inside.
You can then shape your butter into whatever shape you want, and eat it with toast, crumpets, scones…yummy!!
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