fun with fermentation

Today I made butter from some cream that had gone sour. The photo shows the actual color; no photoshopping here… The climate in many parts of New Zealand allows for year round pasture growth (yes the grass IS greener on our side of the fence ocean) which is converted into high quality dairy products – the yellow color and high fat content being an indicator of high nutritional value. Our whole milk and cream comes to us nonpasteurized and nonhomogenized from a small herd of Jerseys. The milk is tasty, and because its original enzymes and bacteria, it doesn’t tend to “go off”; it just goes sour over time. This makes it ideal for making various things. So far we’ve tried

Butter
Yogurt (the normal version that requires heating)
Caspian Sea yogurt (a culture that works at room temperature; no heating required)
Buttermilk (as a byproduct of making butter)
Buttermilk (from adding a starter to milk)
Sour cream / creme fraiche
Kefir
Creme brulee (a great way to use lots of soured cream)

This is my lazy man’s way to make butter:
-Set a container of cream on the counter for 1-2 days to ferment (less if your house is very warm).
-Pour the cream into a blender and run at low speed until it “turns” (you will hear a distinct change in the sound of the motor, and clumps of butter will float to the top when you switch it off). There are a couple of tricks here: first, keep the speed low enough to avoid introducing air bubbles to the cream or you will get whipped cream; second if this happens, let it sit and settle for a while before trying again.
-Put the butter in a bowl and wash it with cold water, mixing it with a spoon and changing the water until it comes out clear (otherwise the butter may not keep as well).
-Mix in some salt (if you like).
-That’s it! Takes about 10-15 mins.

More info on  nutrient-dense foods: Weston Price Foundation.

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2 thoughts on “fun with fermentation

  1. Matt has been on me for a while to get him some non-pasturized milk. I’ve been too lazy/tired (I know! I know!) and everytime he comes across another one of my friends who drinks non-p milk, he says: “SEE!”
    :]

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