Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Butter Making 101: North Florida Style, Updated

The best tasting butter starts with cream from grass-fed cows. I got some low pasteurized cream from a Panhandle grass-fed cow creamery while on the New Leaf Market Cooperative self-driven farm tour.  The creamery didn't put anything in their cream so it could easily be made into butter.

Fresh Florida sweet cream in churning container,
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
The cream needs to be at room temperature between 50-60 F. If it is colder than this the cream will be  too thick to be turned into butter.

Once it reaches the right temperature pour it into a container that has a lid. Then shake the liquid until it starts to separate into buttermilk and butter. My cream started to separate within seconds of shaking.

First stage of churning fresh Florida sweet cream butter
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
But it didn't look much like butter. So I continued shaking for another five or so minutes until I no longer heard liquid sloshing inside.  I opened the container, poured off the buttermilk and continued shaking and banging it on the counter for another five minutes.

Fresh churned Florida sweet cream butter in processing container
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
The final reveal showed me the style I was used to seeing with thick swirls of yellow butter. It was ready for storing and eating.

Fresh churned Florida sweet cream butter on parchment paper
Copyright 2013 by Helen A Lockey
The butter had a deliciously flavor of the fresh grass smell.

The only drawback of fresh sweet cream butter is that it doesn't stay fresh very long. The best way to preserve butter is to put it in the freezer.  It can stay tasty for up to six months.

So I put some on parchment paper, popped it in the freezer and hardened it up before transferring it to a long term storage container.

To extend the shelf life without freezing the butter, put a bit of salt. Then wash the butter ball in water until the water runs clear, this means all the buttermilk has been removed.

Now that you see how easy it is to make butter you'll probably never buy it from a store again. If you want some of the delicious grass-fed cream I used check out the Ocheesee Creamery in Grand Ridge, Fla. 

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