Category Archives: Condiments

A category of recipes all about condiments

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd
Yield: 1 Pint Jar Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients – Equipment Needed
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3/4 cup cane sugar
3/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
6 to 7 tablespoons cold butter
1 sauce pan OR double boiler
whisk
sift / strainer
juicer (optional, just your hands works well too!)
zester / micro plane

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Step 1: zest one lemon, roughly a tablespoon worth of zest, set aside. Juice lemons, strain pulp, and set aside.

Step 2: Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Reserve egg whites for another recipe* Add egg yolks and one whole egg to sauce pan or double boiler**. Add in lemon juice, sugar, zest, and whisk till incorporated. Now turn on your heat low, keep whisking…

* Side note – saving eggs: Separated eggs can be frozen easily and stored in a freezer sealed bag for at least six months to a year. In my instance, I have backyard chickens and have an abundance of eggs, so in order to not waste, I separate them, and freeze. This recipe is made with frozen eggs.

** Side note – double boiler vs stand alone sauce pan: this is based on your comfort level of cooking eggs to ensure you don’t turn your yolks to scramble. The double boiler keeps the liquid eggs from the direct heat, allowing you more flexibility when whisking to not develop scrambled eggs. If you do not have a double boiler, you’re still good… just keep the temp very low, and don’t stop whisking. Worse case, get out that fine mesh strainer and run your curd through to remove any lumps that may have formed during cooking.

Step 3: one by one add in a tablespoon of butter. Whisk till incorporated and add another, one at a time. Keep whisking. At this time, get a small metal spoon and take a dip. Time to taste test before the curd comes together. Not sweet enough, add a teaspoon or more of sugar and keep whisking… keep whisking… and watch the magic start to happen.

Step 4: after 15 + minutes of whisking you will see your curd start to thicken. Keep in mind, once you turn off the heat the curd will continue to cook and continue to thicken. When you’re able to form soft peaks with your curd you are ready to turn off the heat and set aside. Once cooled, transfer your curd to a pint jar with sealing lid. If you’re concerned with lumps, run your curd through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps formed during cooking.

Storage: half pint and pint jars by Ball or Kerr freeze extremely well and this recipe will freeze incredibly well for at least 6 months. Its consistency remains in tact even after freezing. Store in the fridge in a sealed pint jar for up to a week… if it lasts that long.

ENJOY!

Meyer Lemon Curd
Serving Suggestion: we enjoyed a dollop of Meyer Lemon Curd this morning atop my homemade french toast and berry sauce… everything from scratch… bread, berry sauce, & lemon curd!

Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

During my childhood days I had a couple people in my world that provided an exposure to foods beyond the typical everyday fare. My late grandfather was one of those people. He loved liverwurst, salsa, headcheese, salty nuts, alcohol, and sweets. He use to get upset at me because I’d eat all of his special foods and leave him none. He didn’t expect his little granddaughter to eat all of his headcheese! One food or condiment he loved was spicy pickled peppers better known as pickled jalapeno escabeche. These peppers were tangy from the vinegar, sweet from the brine filled with carrots and onions and spicy because the peppers were jalapenos. He’d have a jar hidden on the door of the refrigerator. I’d eventually discover the hidden jar and clear it of all jalapenos so all that remained were onions and carrots.

Over the years I’ve developed a great love for these spicy tangy peppers and today I need to eat them with everything! Unfortunately the store bought versions are filled with unhealthy sodium (sodium is healthy but in the right form and the right amounts), vegetables grown from who knows where and covered with who knows what (produce shipped from long distances covered in chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and other gmo concerns). In addition to the unknown ingredients/chemicals in the store bought version you’re also dealing with the chemicals that come along with processing store bought foods in cans. In line with our goals of eating local food, organic food, from scratch food, and food with minimal ingredients I decided to make and can pickled jalapeno escabeche on my own. With a few basic ingredients this has been the easiest pickled and canned recipe I’ve made in a while.
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

I wish my grandpa was still here so he could enjoy my homemade version of his favorite spicy snack. He’d be so proud of the healthy alternative we’re enjoying now. As mentioned, in line with our goals of eating homemade, home canned, local, organic, seasonal foods we choose to can enough pickled jalapeno escabeche that will last us till jalapenos are in season again next year. How many pints is this do you ask? Well, I’m not sure yet since last year was the first year we attempted to make this recipe and start canning the jalapenos. This year I’ve canned an ample amount and we’re already enjoying the fruits of our labor. We’ve got a couple more weeks of peppers and the season is done. Just think to how often you eat these peppers. Some enjoy them on everything and some only enjoy them on certain things… nachos come to mind (= If you eat a jar a week… consider how many weeks you’ve got till jalapenos are in season again. 52 jars. That might be a bit much but giving you an idea of planning. If you eat a can a month then that might be a more reasonable approach. This recipe will provide you 6 to 8 pints of canned pickled jalapeno escabeche.

The following recipe is fun because it is versatile. I’ve seen versions with dried herbs and other vegetables that stand up to high temperatures. This is your basic pickled jalapeno recipe that I’ve compiled of various versions found across the interwebs. Adjust it as you like. Included in the recipe are basic instructions for water bath canning for long term storage. Enjoy pickled jalapeno escabeche!
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche
* = organic (or GMO free)
¤ = local

Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche
1 pound fresh jalapenos (use serranos or even habaneros if you’re brave) *¤
1 bunch carrots (6 or more medium sized) *¤
1 onion (I prefer white but you can use any kind) *¤
10 cloves garlic *¤
1/3 cup olive oil *
2 tablespoons kosher salt (or sea salt)
2 tablespoons cane sugar (I use Florida Crystals a carbon free company. I’ve also tested coconut sugar, which works well) *
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water (optional to cut the zing of the vinegar)
6-8 sterilized pint mason jars + lids & rings
1 large water bath canning pot
2 tablespoons white vinegar (optional, add to canning water)

Step 1: Prepare your water bath canner and jars according to your manufacture instructions. In this instance I am using 6 to 8 pint sized mason jars, lids and rings. I prepare my oversized aluminum canner with hot water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. I crank the temperature to high so it will be close to if not already boiling by the time I’m ready to fill the jars. With my jar grabber I place each jar, rings & lids removed, into the heating water. I will let the water fill the jars as they enter the pot. I fill a separate small pot with water and add the lids to get warm. Do not boil the lids.
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Step 2: Prepare your ingredients. You may cut rings or leave the peppers whole. If you leave the peppers whole make sure to cut a small slit in each to allow the juices to penetrate later in the cooking time. Set peppers aside. Clean and chop carrots. You can cut circles or on the bias and not too thin or they will fall apart in the cooking process. Set aside. Clean one onion. Cut in half and then cut slices. The thickness is your choice but keep in mind the thinner onion slice will fall apart sooner in the cooking process. Set aside. Clean 10 cloves of garlic and thinly slice. Set aside.
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Step 3: Heat up olive oil in a medium sized stock pot. Add the peppers to the hot oil and stir making sure to coat all of the peppers with oil. Add carrots, onions, garlic, and continue to stir, coating all of the vegetables. Next add the kosher salt and sugar and incorporate well. Sauté the vegetables till soft, roughly 10 minutes. Next add in the white and cider vinegars and stir well. If you like less of a tangy pepper you may add a cup of water to dilute the vinegar. Cook the vegetables till soft and the color has muted almost to an olive green (in the case of jalapenos or seranos), roughly 10 minutes. Once your vegetables are cooked through, remove from heat and begin preparation of filling your jars for canning. NOTE: If you don’t plan on canning and instead eating these right away, I would cook them for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to ensure a soft pepper. Otherwise your peppers will be crunchy and possibly too spicy. The canning process helps to cook them through further. END NOTE
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Step 4: Now it’s time to fill your jars. At this point the water bath is close to if not already boiling. Turn the water down just for the moment you’ll be handling the jars. Drain the small pot with lids and set lids into rings in preparation to top jars. With you jar grabber, remove one jar at a time from the hot water in the canning pot and place onto a clean towel. Make sure to pour out any excess water from the jar back into the canning pot. I like to use the canning funnel, which allows for easy filling of the jars with minimal mess. Place the funnel in your first jar and fill with vegetables and liquid. Make sure the liquid covers the vegetables and ensure there is a one inch head space between the vegetables and the rim of the jar. Remove the funnel and wipe the rim of the jar to ensure there is no debris that will impact the lid’s seal. Place a lid and ring on the jar and close till just barely tight. Too tight or too loose and the seal won’t work. With the jar grabber place the filled jar back into the boiling water and repeat with all jars till full. Once you’re done filling the jars bring the water back up to a full boil and start your timer for 15 minutes. NOTE: Make sure you start the time when the water is at a full boil and not before. Also note that you must have at least 1 to 2 inches of boiling water above the lids of the jars while in the canning pot. 10 minutes for ½ pints. 15 minutes for pints. 20 minutes for quarts. END NOTE
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Step 5: Once the timer is complete at 15 minutes turn off the heat and with your jar grabber carefully remove each jar and place on a towel in an unobstructed area free from roaming pets, wild kids, and breezes. The jars must sit overnight (24hrs) for a complete seal. Depending on the manufacturer (in my case Ball) you’ll hear the POP of the seal when it’s complete but it’s best to leave the jars overnight to ensure the seal is complete. For long term storage remove the rings of the lids before storing away and do not stack the jar. WHY you ask… because if a seal fails the ring will allow it to re-seal and then you’ll never know until opening the jar if you’re food has spoiled. Same process applies to stacking. Without a ring or object blocking the way you’ll know immediately if a seal has failed.

Step 6: ENJOY! When people ask me what they would eat these peppers with I remind them of nachos or burritos and then it clicks and they realize these tasty peppers are absolutely wonderful with most any meal. Need to add an extra spicy tangy condiment to your meals… add pickled jalapenos escabeche. Enjoy!
Pickled Jalapeno Escabeche

Homemade Almond Basil Pesto

Homemade Almond Basil Pesto

It’s that time of year again when the seasons are in the midst of changing. Where the days are still warm but the evenings cool quickly letting you know summer is giving way to autumn. Folks are planning for a fall bounty and harvesting the last of their early summer gardens. Garden herbs like basil may be ready for that south-facing window or a complete harvest. If your basil plants grow like mine, then you’re left with a giant bush of a plant and more basil you know what to do with. The fastest, easiest use that comes to mind is pesto! I see pesto as a luxury item given the cost of the oils, nuts, and cheese. After doing some research and playing around with different ingredients, I found a pesto recipe that was reasonable for my family and allowed me to use my fresh basil harvest to its fullest; homemade almond basil pesto.

For my family, almond basil pesto is the go-to-quick-fix meal. I’m able to freeze 1/2 pint jars. Half of a 1/2 pint jar is the perfect amount to cover a pound of pasta and its acompanying ingredients such as vegetables and a meat, pork, or fowl. Know that almond basil pesto is not just good for pasta. We like to toast a baguette and top it with pesto, oven roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Need a flavor boost on your grilled steak… smother it in pesto right before it comes off the grill. Since pesto is composed of a fresh herb, you’ll want to add pesto on as a finishing ingredient. Right before serving or just as you’ve turned off the heat… add your almond basil pesto. It keeps the flavors light and fresh… yes, even if it has been frozen. I found that the pesto freezes exceptionally well and defrosts without a loss of texture, taste, or quality. I’ve read from others that they’ve found challenges with the cheese loosing quality during freezing. If you’re worried about quality, keep the cheese out of your frozen mixture and add back in when you thaw.

A traditional pesto is made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and a hard cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano. Unless I know how to extract the pine nuts from my grandmother’s pine tree cones, there is no way I could afford to buy enough pine nuts to accommodate a recipe that includes the amount of basil I had. Instead, I chose a variety of raw local almonds that I’ve roasted myself. I’ve found a couple California olive oils that are well priced and won’t break my budget if I use a couple of cups. Finding hormone free cheese that is reasonably priced has been a challenge but we’ve found some varieties. A typical Parmigiano is used for a traditional pesto, but any dry aged hard cheese will do… pecorino, Asiago, even dry aged jack… it is all in the flavors you’d like to create. An almond and Asiago combination will give a sharp bite to the pesto where as a walnut Parmigiano will have a lighter, smoother texture.

Have fun and play with the flavors while harnessing the freshness of summer with the last of your fresh basil harvest… almond basil pesto, enjoy!

homemade almond basil pesto

* = organic, hormone free, gmo free
^ = local

Homemade Almond Basil Pesto
yield: 4 – 1/2 pint freezer jars

■ 3 cups, packed, fresh basil *^
■ 3/4 cup cubed or shredded dry aged cheese of choice (i.e. Parmigiano Reggiano, romano, Asiago, dry Monterey jack) *
■ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil *^
■ 1/3 – 1/2 cup nut of choice (i.e. pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews) ^
■ 2 medium-sized garlic cloves *^
■ juice of 1/2 a lemon *^
■ kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
■ Special Equipment: Food processor

Step 1: in a preheated 350 (f) degree oven, place raw nuts (in this case almonds) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes
homemade almond basil pesto

Step 2: After the nuts have cooled, place in a food processor and pulse until you’ve achieved a corse chop. Then add in your garlic and cheese (shredded or cubed will work) and continue to pulse until you’ve achieved a fine chop.
homemade almond basil pesto

Step 3: now add in the basil and pulse a few more times to combine the herbs with the cheese & nut mixture.
homemade almond basil pesto

Step 4: While the food processor is running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Half way through stop the processor, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and add in the juice of the lemon, kosher salt, and pepper…

Step 5: Finish processing the olive oil to your desired consistency and adding kosher salt and pepper to your desired taste…
homemade almond basil pesto

Step 6: Once processing is complete, you can pack the pesto into 1/2 pint freezer jars. Leave a 1/4 inch head space and top with a drizzle of olive oil before placing on the lid. These jars will keep in the freezer up to 1 year and in the refrigerator for up to a month.
homemade almond basil pesto

To Defrost: place frozen jar in refrigerator and defrost overnight or place in a bowl of luke warm water for a more immediate defrost (usually takes an hour or less).
homemade almond basil pesto

Homemade Almond Basil Pesto… enjoy!

homemade almond basil pesto

homemade almond basil pesto

Blog post originally written by The Sustainable Sweet & Savory Gourmet on September 19th, 2012 at site: http://thesustainablesweetandsavorygourmet.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/homemade-roasted-almond-fresh-basil-pesto/

Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

“Peanut butter is the pâté of childhood.” ~ Florence Fabricant

I’ve always been a fan of the peanut; in its natural state, shelled, crushed, or creamy… the peanut is pretty awesome. The good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich never tires, my grandmother’s peanut butter cookies are better than any I’ve ever tasted, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – a treat my mom & I use to share when I was little brings back memories. I can remember my grandfather had his own designated jar of roasted & lightly salted peanuts always stored in the cupboard. You’d know he had eaten peanuts because he’d smell like a giant peanut. Consumed alone or cooked into delightful dishes such as Chile Peanut Crusted Chicken with Napa Cabbage and Radish Slaw or Grape Leaves stuffed with Mozzarella, Dry Monterey Jack, Peanuts, and Raisins, or Caribbean style chicken with Brown Sugar Peanut Spice rub – I love peanuts.

I can remember as a little girl, my mom and grandmother purchasing fresh made peanut butter at some of our local health food stores. There was a peanut grinding machine near the ‘specialty foods’ area. You could place an empty container in the machine, press a button, and a few minutes later you’d have fresh – nothing but peanuts – peanut butter. It was pretty neat and how awesome was that – we made our own peanut butter. How I forgot that it was so simple. Those machines seem to have disappeared and a majority of what is left on the store shelves has too much ‘unhealthy’ oils, salts, fats, and other ingredients I wouldn’t ever try to pronounce.

A couple of months back I heard a news report on the radio that the peanut industry was in trouble. The DJs on the radio joked peanut butter was going to equivilant to gold. If you were a kid in school and got a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch… you must be rich! I looked into the subject a little deeper and found that demand couldn’t be met in the last couple of years due to contamination, land space, and costs of goods. Southeast Farm Press

Reading this article and understanding the different obstacles the industry and it’s consumers face, it seems like it is another consumption problem – too easy, too much, too often. Between the unwanted ingredients and the energy used to process, package, and ship the peanut item, I decided to refrain from purchasing peanut butter… until now. I looked into local peanut options and was fortunate to find my favorite local organic farmstand, Pinnacle Organic, grows and sells peanuts during the late fall and winter seasons.

Peanuts, from planting to harvest have a 120-150 day growing period. They are usually planted after the last frost and require a soil temperature of 65 degrees F for germination. A little over a month after planting, the peanuts will begin to flower, another couple of weeks and the roots will develop and penetrate the soil, and lastly the peanuts will mature over a 10 week period, staggered. The soil must be well-drained; loose and sandy. (iastate.edu)

For some reason I didn’t think of peanuts in a “seasonal” sense but like anything else that grows… it grows in a season. I’ve decided to try to manage peanut butter in our household like we do with anything else for preservation. For example, during the height of tomato season I would buy extra tomatoes and can them. This is so I would have tomatoes throughout the non-tomato season and I would not have to depend on the BPA lined cans of something that is supposed to resemble a tomato from the grocery store. Each week I visit the farm to get my produce I will buy extra peanuts and soak, roast, and grind them at home for our own homemade peanut butter. A jar of fresh homemade peanut butter will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 months and in the freezer in a freezer safe container for up to a year. If you’ve used oil to cream the peanuts, the oil will separate in the freezer. When you are ready to use, you must thaw the homemade peanut butter completely – remix – and store in the refrigerator.

homemade peanut butter

I won’t kid you… the process is not hard but it is time-consuming. Homemade peanut butter is simply ground up peanuts. You can soak them in salt water and you can add a little oil for a smoother texture… but otherwise, it’s just peanuts… easy, right?! My family didn’t think so when I had them shelling peanuts for an entire morning; all to produce 2 pint jars of peanut butter that are now gone and we’re back to shelling again! I realize this process is not for everyone… afterall who has time to sit around shelling peanuts. For us its a matter of using things when they are in season, storing them for when they aren’t, and making sure we know what we’re consuming and were it’s come from… for that, I’ll spend time shelling a few peanuts.

* = organic
^ = local

Homemade Peanut Butter
■ 1 pound peanuts, raw *^
■ 1 1/2 cups kosher salt (optional ingredient & note, if you are using table salt, reduce to 1 cup)
■ 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil (optional ingredient)
■ large pot for soaking + plate to keep peanuts submerged
■ tray for drying
■ food processor
■ water for soaking

Step 1: Place your peanuts in a strainer and rinse, removing as much surface dirt as possible. Drain. Place peanuts and kosher salt in the soaking pot, cover with water till the peanuts are submerged. Stir. Cover the peanuts with a plate to make sure they stay submerged for the soaking duration. After 1 hour, remove the plate and stir the peanut salt water mixture. Cover and continue soaking. Do this every hour for at least 3 up to 5 hours. Drain.

homemade peanut butter

Step 2: Single layer the peanuts on a cookie sheet and place in the oven on WARM or the lowest temperature your oven will allow – this will speed up the drying process. If you don’t want to run your oven they can air dry overnight. Once dry, place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, tossing the peanuts throughout the cooking time to make sure they don’t burn.

homemade peanut butter

Step 3: Remove the peanuts from the oven and let cool. Once cool, the peanuts are ready for shelling. Make sure to remove the thin outer skin as well as the shell. The skins will make your peanut butter bitter.

homemade peanut butter

homemade peanut butter

Step 4: Once shelled, they are ready to enjoy… but if you’re wanting peanut butter… place your peanuts in a food processor and process, while drizzling the oil in slowly.

homemade peanut butter

The more oil, the smoother the texture. Process till you’ve found the consistency you like. This can take several minutes depending on how smooth you like your homemade peanut butter. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 4 months or in the freezer for up to 1 year. My kiddo enjoys his homemade peanut butter with homemade jam on homemade bread… best PB&J ever! Enjoy!

homemade peanut butter

Homemade Butter

Homemade Butter

“If you’re afraid of butter, as many people are nowadays, just put in cream!” Julia Child

“My dear boy, when curds are churned, the finest part rises upward and turns into butter. So too, dear boy, when food is eaten the choice parts rise upward and become mind.” Chandogya Upanishad (‘Choice Cuts’ by Mark Kurlansky, 2002)

Butter. Creamy, fresh, rich butter. Melt in your mouth butter. No additives, no colorings, no chemicals… just cream from a wandering grass fed pasture raised cow… real homemade butter!

Olive oil, tallow (rendered beef fat), coconut oil, and homemade butter are the main fats I use in cooking. Each have their own purposes and benefits. I believe knowing exactly where these ingredients come from I can better manage the “good fats” my family is exposed to. As part of our lifestyle adjustment quest we’ve been making most of what we consume by scratch and learning every detail about what we’re consuming. I began making our own homemade butter. After the first taste I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t ventured into homemade butter territory sooner. It was the BEST butter I’ve ever tasted.

Growing up I don’t remember eating REAL butter. Country Crock, Imperial, and then later down the line HeartSmart, and I Can’t Believe…, donned our kitchen tables. All of which are margarines either in a solid or a spreadable form.

Before I ventured into homemade butter making I wanted to know what margarine was made of, how it’s made, why it’s being pushed to our tables instead of butter. What I’ve learned is we should stay far… far away from it. In the early 1900′s, food chemists discovered how to harden liquid oils by reacting them with hydrogen in the presence of metal catalysts and heat. Based on the readings I’ve found and the general public’s knowledge, there seems to be a misconception regarding the mono-poly and saturated fats margarine consists of. It must be clear that the process of hardening vegetable oils by artificial hydrogenation creates saturated fat. Butter is basically a natural product, and its fatty acids are structurally similar to the fatty acids in our bodies. The heat and chemicals used to transform vegetable oils into margarine change fatty acids into unnatural forms that may be most unhealthy to eat.

I choose to eat butter made from cows raised without added hormones or antibiotics, preferably organic, and grass fed pasture raised. I am learning that there is a vast health difference between a dairy cow raised on a factory lot vs. a dairy cow raised on pasture its entire life. The pastured grass fed cow does not receive hormones or antibiotics because it’s only eating wild forage or supplemented grass, alfalfa, and hay. These hormones and antibiotics are used to combat the illnesses developed when the cows eat a diet of grains, soy, and other unknown byproducts. Their bodies, by nature, were not developed to withstand the dangers of this diet thus they get sick. The reason for the grain byproduct diet is increased milk production. Typically the milk is watered down and because of the high risk involved with the infections, they must over process it removing everything – good and bad. This is why you see the terms “fortified with…” because they’ve had to add back certain nutrients to make it even qualify as ‘milk’.

Some positive health examples of consuming the butter from a grass-fed pasture raised animal is that it has higher omega-3 (aka ‘the good fat’), Vitamin E & A, beta carotene, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid aka ‘the good fat’) levels. In a 1998 study, allowing cattle to forage on fresh pasture alone resulted in higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than feeding them a diet that contained 10% fish meal for 168 days (I.B. Mandell et al, The Return of Omega-3 Fatty Acids into the Food Supply, World Rev Nutr Diet, 83:144-59, 1998). Omega-3 fatty acids are documented to fight inflammation and reduce the risk of type II diabetes, thyroid disorders, and obesity. Linolenic acid is part of the omega-3 family and has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, which may lessen heart disease. In lab tests on animals, CLA helped prevent cancer and heart disease. (Don Beitz, an ISU professor of animal science and bio-chemistry).

I am going to stick to the natural fats… the real stuff nature made. Making my own homemade butter has been fun to learn, easy to do, satisfying knowing the only ingredient is cream, and local grass fed pastured cream at that. It is not the most cost effective option given 1 pound of organic butter typically costs me $6.00 and it takes up to 2 pints of organic cream to make 1 pound of butter, costing about the same. It goes back to the satisfaction of knowing my ingredients, using the healthiest of ingredients, and supporting my local vendors. I’ll just have to get my own dairy cow one of these days soon to offset the cost!

For now, here is my take on making homemade butter. It’s quick, easy, and the BEST BUTTER I’ve ever had! Enjoy!

* organic
^ local

Homemade Butter
yield: 1 pound butter
■ 2 pints heavy cream *^
■ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
■ Food Processor or Stand Mixer
■ Dairy Thermometer

Step 1: Bring your cream to room temperature. I chose to place the cream in a glass container and set out on the counter, with the dairy thermometer inserted. Depending on how warm your environment is, it could take 30 minutes or more to come to temperature 72 – 74 F degrees. This process raises the acidity in the cream allowing for easier whipping.
homemade butter

Step 2: Once your cream is at room temperature, pour into a stand mixer bowl or food processor. Begin operation at a slow to medium speed. NOTE: if using a stand mixer as I have here be prepared for some over spray from the separating buttermilk as you increase the speed. I recommend using a food processor to avoid any loss of buttermilk and to avoid a milky mess in general. END NOTE

After a couple of minutes increase the speed to high and finish processing the cream. This will begin the butter forming stage…
homemade butter

homemade butter

homemade butter

Step 3: using a spatula, remove the butter from the machine, place into a separate bowl and drain off the remaining buttermilk. I save the buttermilk to use in other baking recipes such as breads, pancakes, quiches, etc.
homemade butter

homemade butter

Step 4: run cold water over the butter in the bowl. Use the spatula turning and combining the butter. This is helping to remove any leftover buttermilk. Dump the water and continue rinsing until the water runs clean. Strain off remaining water and mix in kosher salt now, if you choose to have salted butter.
homemade butter

homemade butter

Step 5: remove the butter from the bowl and place on a cutting board. With a spatula, begin to press the butter repeatedly. The pressing helps to remove any remaining buttermilk or water. The more buttermilk & water removed the better, allowing for longer term storage. If too much buttermilk is left in the butter it can go rancid fast. Continue pressing until you no longer see any liquid expelling from the butter.
homemade butter

Storage:
Once your butter is pressed, it is ready for consumption. You can store it at room temperature in a butter crock, or in a container in the refrigerator or freezer. I choose to line a glass dish with wax paper and press the butter into the dish. I cover the dish and place in the refrigerator overnight giving the butter time to solidify. The next day I remove the block of butter from the glass dish, cut into 4 separate squares (NOTE: for accurate measuring, use a kitchen scale – but for purposes of this post I placed a store bought block of butter next to the homemade to give you an idea of cutting size END NOTE). I wrap each square in wax paper and place into a storage bag. This bag then goes into the freezer. When I’m ready to use the butter, I remove it from the freezer and either place it in the refrigerator or on the counter to thaw. There is no consistency issues or fat separation issues with freezing.
homemade butter

homemade butter

homemade butter

More Processing Options
I took this picture a few weeks back at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Cooking for Solutions event. This is a Clover Dairy employee demonstrating that with a little muscle, a covered container, and fresh room temperature cream… you too can have the delightful goodness of homemade butter!
homemade butter

Original post written on June 20th, 2012 by The Sustainable Sweet & Savory Gourmet at site: http://thesustainablesweetandsavorygourmet.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/homemade-butter/