Recipes and How-to's for Farm Fresh Products
Anyone can make fresh butter even if you don't have access to natural Real milk. It's fun and educational for children as well. It takes less than 30-minutes and costs less than $4 if you buy a quart of cream from the local grocery store. Contrary to popular belief, real butter is far healthier than any of the fake stuff. Think about it as you read the list of chemicals contained in the fake stuff and tell me you really think it's healthier. What about health and Butter?
There are some different variations on butter making though the end process is the same. You can let the whole milk or cream sour or not, and you can skim the cream off the milk or not. In any case, only the cream makes the butter. If you shake whole milk until you have butter, you just have a lot more buttermilk than if you had skimmed the cream from it; the butter volume is the same so why waste the milk? Personally, I don't like sour cream butter which isn't near as common as it used to be; most people haven't even heard of it. As for skimming, I'm not going to waste the milk turning it to a larger volume of buttermilk when I can skim it and enjoy both. If you leave your milk or cream warm to long, it will sour. A couple of hours is all that's needed to get it to room temperature.
How to do it - If you don't have real natural milk you can buy Heavy Cream from any grocery store. Of course fresh natural milk is better but use what you have available. If you will use fresh natural milk, let the cream rise to the top and skim it off, this is heavy cream. What you are left with is X % or skim milk depending on how much cream you left. Put the heavy cream in a glass container like a common mason jar and let it warm to room temperature (an hour or so is long enough); don't leave it so long that it sours unless you like sour cream butter as some do. Don't fill the jar more than about ¾ full so there is plenty of room for the cream to slosh sufficiently.
After the cream is at or near room temperature, just take turns shaking the jar as vigorously as you can, but it is not necessary to get to wild with it. In about 15-minutes you will have two things in the jar; butter and buttermilk. First the heavy cream will thicken to delicious natural whipped cream which you could use in place of the fake whipped creams on the market. Then you will notice that it begins to seperate as tiny noduals appear. Just a few shakes later and you have your butter. Gently mash the butter in a bowl to get out the rest of the buttermilk and lightly salt it. There you have it!! Drink the buttermilk or use it to make homemade buttermilk pancakes or biscuits.
There is nothing like homemade, but it can be hard to find these days. Following is a good recipe for Buttermilk pancakes with some variations which you can use if you like.
I always mix my dry ingredients together first, then I add everything except the Buttermilk hand mixing only with a fork, then I add the Buttermilk to get the consistency that I want. If you run out of Buttermilk, you can finish with a little milk or water. Pancake mix should be slightly lumpy, and should sit for a few minutes as it will thicken significantly which you may have to thin. I never add sugar to my mix though you can.
- 2 cups flour, anything except self rising, all purpose works well.
- 1 Tsp salt; there is no advantage to "sea" salt or "kosher" salt.
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda, we use both to balance acidity.
- 1 Egg
- 2 1/4 cups fresh natural Buttermilk; not commercial buttermilk. Personally, I'd rather use real milk than fake commercial buttermilk.
- 3 Tblsp Butter or shortening, I like bacon or sausage grease instead.
- Sugar - Some people add sugar up to 2 tablespoons. For what reason I don't know. Afterall, it's pancakes and your likely to top it with something richly sweet.
- Vanilla - Or any other flavoring. If you're going to use it, it's worth using the real thing. I don't because I use natural bacon or sausage grease instead of butter or shortening as my flavoring.