So what’s your relationship like with butter? Do you shudder at the thought of it? Or do you stockpile it in your freezer because you can’t image a day without it?
I feel terrible for my friends that grew up margarine. Butter is the best. I stockpile it in my freezer and often have multiple types (cultured, salted, grass fed, water buffalo) on hand. I search my pantry for imaginative ways to use other foods as a vessel for more butter, and I don’t see that as a desperate act, just one of life’s simple pleasures. Salted cultured butter on giant California cashews? Yes, please!
A lot of cultured butters out there use kefir instead of yogurt. Kefir makes the butter more cheesy in taste, while the yogurt makes it more creamy with a slight tang. Making cultured butter is incredibly simple, the only hard part is not freaking out about leaving cream on your counter to ferment for a few days. Just relax, it’s fine, and enjoy!
Cultured Yogurt Butter
- 2 pints heavy whipping cream (36% milk fat or more)
- 1 litre glass wide mouth jar with a lid
- 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt (make sure it says that it contains live cultures)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)
- Optional flavorings: Herbs de Provence, garlic scapes, fresh herbs, ect.
- Cold Water
- Pour the heavy cream into the wide-mouthed jar, add the yogurt and seal the jar. Give it a good shake or two. Leave on the counter in a cool space out of direct sunlight. Check every day, opening the container to allow any built up gases to escape.
- After two or three days the mixture should start to smell like yogurt, aka a little sour. If the smell is overpowering, or if you see any mold, toss it and start again making sure everything is squeaky clean and your yogurt contains live cultures.
- Once your cream has developed a nice yogurty sourness, pour it into your stand mixture. Start mixing on a slow speed, and gradually increase to medium. Once it changes from a creamy thick consistency to a grainy watery mixture, stop the mixing. It doesn't take long, only a couple minutes.
- Strain the butter solids from the buttermilk using a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
- Take the butter solids and form into a workable ball. Knead the butterball in cold water in a large mixing bowl to work all the buttermilk out. This will take a few minutes and your hands will get cold, but it's worth it! If your water turns very cloudy and milky, dump it out and refresh with cold water. Continue working the butter until all the pockets of buttermilk have been kneaded out.
- Dump out the cold water and give the butter ball a few turns between your hands, making sure all water has been kneaded out.
- If you want to salt your butter or add any herbs this is the time do it. Sometimes I like to add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence.
- Store the butter in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy!