This requires very few ingredients.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 whole garlic bulb
I think you want to find cream that is not ultra pasteurized. I read that somewhere, but I can’t say for sure that it matters, it may still work if that’s all you can find. Pasteurization is the heating of the milk to reduce the number of microbes in it. Ultra pasteurization is a little different process and may affect how well cheese and things work. I may have to try some experiments later this summer when I have time. For now, try to find cream that is not (and believe me, it’s not that easy!) Try Whole Foods or other organic markets.
Let your cream sit out until it’s room temperature. If it is cold it either won’t turn into butter or it will take a long time. It may even turn into whipped cream. Tasty but not what you’re going for. While you’re waiting for that to happen you can turn your attention to your garlic (unless you’re not doing the garlic version).
Cut a whole bulb of garlic in half. Do not peel. Drizzle olive oil on cut sides of garlic and then loosely wrap garlic in foil. It will look something like 2 Hershey’s Kisses. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook for about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook it. Yes, I know this from “bitter” experience. When it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool. In fact, you can do this ahead of time. Heck, do an extra one or two, these are great to have on hand to flavor anything you want garlic in. Can I just say –they are AWESOME!
When your cream is about room temperature, put it into your blender. Blend it on LOW. Put it on the lowest setting. Mine took almost no time at all, and by that I mean maybe a minute. You will see it suddenly start looking like it’s getting chunky. It’s called “breaking”. In other words, it’s becoming solid.
When you see this start happening, and it’s become butter, turn your blender off. There will be solid (butter) and liquid (buttermilk) in your blender and you need to separate the two. Put cheesecloth in your colander (or strainer) over a container and pour the mixture into the colander and allow the liquid to drain into the container below.
The “buttermilk” is not like what you’re probably thinking of. It tastes about like whole milk. I used it in my coffee the next day, it was pretty good. I think you could probably drink it, or use it in cooking. Don’t waste it! I wish I had measured to see how much “buttermilk” I ended up with. I put it in a small glass jar that I had on hand. If I had to guess I would say there was between a half and a quarter of a cup of liquid.
You can pick up the cheesecloth and gently squeeze to see if you have gotten most of the liquid out of the butter (gently!). Once you have, drop the butter onto a plate. Take a rubber spatula and get as much of the butter as you can off of the cheesecloth.
You’re almost done! But, not quite. You stil need to “rinse” more milk out of the butter. I think there are several ways to do this, but I used a spoon soaked in a bowl of ice water, and just sort of “smooshed” it around the butter on the plate. Then I would tilt the plate and let the white liquid drain off. Continue this until you are not getting white liquid. Be sure to dip the spoon into the cold water each time to keep it cold.
For the rest of us: I added garlic to only half of the butter, so I would have some garlic butter, and some plain. I also didn’t add any salt, because I never buy salted butter. If you want to add salt, add that at this time as well.
I added half a bulb of garlic to half the butter. I simply squeezed it out of each clove and blended it into the butter. When it was all blended, I formed the butter into a little log shape and wrapped it in plastic wrap.
I ended up with two logs of butter, one with, one without.
We ate the garlic butter (most of it!) on Crash Hot Potatoes a few nights later. I usually use olive oil on those, but, well, come on, home made garlic butter. Who wouldn’t do that?
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