When I picked up “Mary Jane Butters’ Milk Cow Kitchen” cookbook in Boise, Idaho, I was intrigued.
The book is presented as an easy “how-to” for making a wide range of dairy products. I have always enjoyed turning milk into another product when time permits.
A dairy foods class in college gave me some basic insights into making plenty of different dairy products from ice cream, yogurt, hard cheese and soft cheese. However, my experience with butter is much more basic – it goes back to elementary school and all the times teachers and dairy princesses came to class and demonstrated how to make butter using a mason jar full of cream.
When I came across Butters’ sweet cream butter recipe using a food processor, I have to admit it was an intriguing idea. With sweet corn season in full swing, I knew the butter would not go to waste, so I decided to give it a whirl.
I did cut back from the original recipe to make sure it fit into my food processor. I purchased 1 pint of cream from the store and filled the processor up to the fill line. I pulsed and checked about every 30 seconds. After the first minute, it was quickly turning into whipped cream. After pulsing for about two minutes, suddenly the butter began to form as the whey separated.
When you end up with a mix of butter chunks in the bowl, you know you are in business. Strain the butter in a colander over a bowl, saving the buttermilk for another recipe. You will need to continue to press the butter to drain more of the liquid out. Run the butter under water to help release more of the whey until the water runs clear. The final step is to spread the butter out on a cutting board to work out any additional liquid. I omitted the noniodized salt, but you can add some at this step if you like.
And presto, in less than 15 minutes, I had butter. I placed mine into a plastic container for storage, but you can use other items to mold your butter.
The verdict? This is a great recipe if you ever have the burning need to get your inner farm wife on and make something from scratch. It’s easy, quick and does not require anything that cannot be found in your kitchen or at the local grocery store.
-Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor