Home-made butter is one of life’s little luxuries. Good butter can make anything taste better. So far, I haven’t been that impressed with American butter. It’s kind of anemic and greasy and not salty at all. We have great shellfish here, but it’s so disappointing when you get some delicious crab and it comes served with a dish of mediocre melted butter. It’s such a simple ingredient, but it can really make or break a dish. So, apart from stocking up on large quantities of Kerrygold 😉 I have started to make my own butter. I’ve found some great cream from local diaries, and I have discovered a local supplier of salt, that produces the most divine smoked salt. As it’s coming into summer, there is an abundance of herbs that you can flavour your butter with too. For this post, I made honey butter with some local raw lavender honey (- my new breakfast butter – amazing on scones or crumpet), smoked salt butter (super with steaks or burgers), and some delicious lemon and dill butter, which is great with fish. Butter keeps well in the freezer for a month, so why not buy some extra cream and go make some great butter.
- 500ml of cream/ a little over 2 cups – (500ml of cream produces about 230g of butter)
- Smoked Salt
- Lemon zest
I posted a few snapshots of the stages of making butter, just to illustrate how simple it is. Basically, you whip the cream for about 10 minutes, until the butter solids separate from the butter milk. I like to keep the buttermilk for baking or for making a delicious buttermilk dressing. To separate the butter from the buttermilk, you can use either a fine sieve or a sheet of muslin. Once, you have the butter separated, squeeze it with your hands to remove excess buttermilk. Them, shape the butter using butter pats, or your hands. It’s a good idea to rinse your hands in cold water before handling the butter. Hot hands = melted buttery mess!
Once you have the butter shaped into small cylinders or balls, wrap it in parchment paper/ Cling-wrap and refrigerate. For these flavoured butters, I divided the butter into three dishes. In one dish I added a teaspoon of honey; in the second dish I add a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of chopped dill and a 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped lemon zest. In the final dish I added a pinch of smoked salt. Mix the butters with the flavourings, and then form each one into balls of butter. Wrap in parchment paper /Cling-wrap and refrigerate or freeze if you are not going to use it all straight away.