Monday, May 10, 2010

Crème Brulee Leads to Butter

As part of a May Day basket, I received a very tasty mix for crème brulee that called for some heavy whipping cream.  The only container we could get that was locally sourced was the Snowville Creamery half gallon, which goodness knows is more whipping cream than we can use in a week.  However, Jacob and I couldn’t stand the thought of wasting so much lovely dairy, so we decided to make butter last night.  We followed the Thrifty Fun site’s instructions.  This is a really neat activity for kids to see or even participate in clip_image002depending on the method you choose.  I remember making butter in elementary school by shaking a mason jar which was pretty fun (especially if you have multiple children because it can take a while).  However, being mature adults (ok, maybe not so high on the mature ladder sometimes, but technically we are adults now) we opted for the electric mixer method.  You need to let the cream warm up just a little, so once it hit about 60 degrees we started working with it.  I poured the whipping cream into a large bowl and started mixing.  Unfortunately, a key point to remember is that whipping cream expands when you whip it (duh!) so halfway through that process I had to transfer the cream to a large pot that could clip_image002[5]contain all of it.  It’s fun to watch it go from a liquid to a whipped cream that holds peaks to all of a sudden this weird yellow chunky stuff with buttermilk pools.  At this point, Jacob took over and dumped out the buttermilk (you can keep it and use it as well, but since our cream was at the expiration date, we opted not to).  You then add cold water, mix it, and dump it again to clean the butter.  After doing this a few times, we added some salt to help preserve it and then put spoonfuls on a cookie sheet where Jacob pressed the water out with a wooden rice server.  It worked surprisingly well and it’s kind of cool to watch the little beads of water suddenly pop out of the butter.  We then placed the butter in mason jars, which personally I wish we could have done the butter in sticks because they are easier to work with but we didn’t have wax paper or containers for that.  So tada!!! we have butter!!  The hardest part is cleaning up the mess, which I made Jacob promise to do today while I was at work.  Hopefully that happens as smoothly as the butter was created - Jacob, you are my dishwashing hero!  Behold below, the finished product - our lovely butter.clip_image002[7]

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