Everthing is Better with Butter – Homemade Butter that is!

Dear Fellow Foodies:

I just made butter.  So what you say?   Butter is one of those great things to have on hand in the refrigerator to finish a dish.  Cultured butter has a great “tang” to it and adds a depth of flavor that you won’t find in regular grocery store butter.  Compound butters are that extra “boom” you add to your dish right at the end.  These are so easy to make and will freeze for up to 3 months with no loss of quality.    It just takes some heavy whipping cream, creme fraiche and ice water.  The bonus?  You also get REAL buttermilk to use in recipes.

Cultured and Compound Butters

1 Quart Heavy Whipping Cream (40% butterfat is best)
1/3 Cup Creme Fraiche

Mix the cream and creme fraiche in a non-reactive bowl and cover and allow to rest at room temperature overnight or up to 2 days if you prefer more flavor.

Place this into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for an hour to chill.  Now whip this on high speed (don’t forget to use a splash guard or plastic wrap to eliminate spatters on your walls) for approximately 4-5 minutes or until it “breaks”.

Drain off the buttermilk (save this for amazing buttermilk pancakes) and knead the butter a bit to release the liquid.

In a separate bowl, rinse the butter with ice water and knead to release the rest of the water from the butter.  Do this about 2-3 times.  Discard the liquid and place the butter into clean cheese cloth and squeeze any remaining liquid.  Wrap your butter in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator or double wrap and freeze.

For Compound butter do this:

While the butter is still malleable using a paddle on your stand mixer or by hand using a heavy wooden spoon, mash the butter and add different spices, herbs or dried fruits.  You get the idea.  Find a flavor you want to add to your food and blend into your butter.  You’ll thank me later.  Here are some compound butters to try:

For fish or seafood:

8 ounces fresh cultured butter
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon cracked fresh pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Salt

For Meats or Pasta:  (this is the easy way to get truffle butter and you can have it any time you want vs. having to try to purchase it somewhere)

8 ounces fresh cultured butter
1/2 teaspoon Truffle Salt
3 Tablespoons Truffle Paste

For Vegetables:

8 ounces fresh cultured butter
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 Tablespoon Key Lime Avocado Oil
1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked cherrywood salt

For Grilled Foods:

8 ounces fresh cultured butter
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely ground juniper berries
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced capers

For pancakes, waffles, etc.

8 ounces fresh cultured butter
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
1 Tablespoon Honey

Some different things to try:

1. Kaffir Lime Leaves – dry and grind in a spice grinder, add lime zest and fresh ginger

2. Pearl Sugar or Maple Sugar, ground cloves, finely chopped dates

3. Chopped shallot, minced Aji Amarillo Peppers, lime zest, chopped cilantro

You get the idea!   So go ahead, mash it up, dish it up.  Melt it, smear it.   Things can be better with butter.

Chef Constance


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