I love all the things you can do with raw cream! I started making butter about 3 years ago. It is like second nature to me now. I make it once a week. If it starts to build up, I use it to trade for eggs, babysitting, etc. If you don't have access to a lot of cream and you are getting raw milk. You can start a freezer jar of cream. Add a scoop of raw cream off the top of your milk into the jar and let it accumulate until you have a one or two quarts. Just keep adding it to the top of the cream jar you keep in the freezer. Eventually you'll have enough to make butter.
I've got a simplified process that really really works for me, so I thought I'd share it with you. I use raw cream (your body can digest it much easier when it is raw, leading to less fat storage in your body), but you can also use this same process with pasturized cream. The first thing I do is put no more than 2 quarts of cream at a time in my KitchenAid (I have a Professional 6), wrap the guard with a towel to prevent splattering, put it on the 6 speed setting, and beat it with the paddle you would use for making cookie dough. Depending on what the cow has been eating will determine how long it takes for the butter to separate. Sometimes it can take 45 minutes, other times 15 minutes. I always make sure the cream is at room temperature because it speeds up the separating process. When using a mixer to separate the butter from the buttermilk, really watch it at the end, because the buttermilk will splash all over the place. I ruined a radio that was sitting next to my KitchenAid. It got doused with buttermilk. Not good! Drain the buttermilk into a glass jar (I'll let you know what to do with that in a future post). Leaving the butter in the KitchenAid bowl, rinse and knead until the water is clear, then knead as much of the clear water out as possible. This prevents the butter from getting a sour taste over time. (Note: when cows are eating green grass, the butter is extremely soft. I put the butter into the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes to get it hard enough to knead. When the cows are eating dry feed, the butter is firm even at room temperature). If you are going to salt the butter, add a tsp of sea salt to approximately a pound of butter (I use fine Celtic Sea Salt). Knead it in well.
Here is another tip I got from the comment section I got from Mrs. Yoder that I'm going to try:
Thought I'd share a little tidbit that cuts down on butter washing time: after you drain off the buttermilk, put the butter in the blender with icy cold water (maybe a chunk or two of ice and some room temp water, or just cold water) and blend for about 30 seconds. Drain, add more water, repeat. Do this about 2-4 times and your butter is cleaner than anything else you can do to it and lasts forever since the buttermilk is all out. This method takes about 2 minutes versus 10-20 minutes of working if not longer. I sort of feel like I'm cheating, but then I see the results and I don't feel so bad!
You don't have to do this step, but I like to put my butter into a butter mold. It makes it easy to measure for recipes. My husband made me this one pound mold. It isn't fancy, but it works. I just pack the butter into the mold, smoothing down the top (my daughter eats any leftovers).On a piece of unbleached parchment paper big enough to wrap my 1 lb of butter, I flip the mold over and push the loose piece of wood out of the mold. The outside of the mold will be removed, so now all you need to do is slide a knife between the loose piece of wood and the butter to separate.Wrap your butter in the parchment paper, date and freeze if you aren't going to use it right away. Again, you don't need a mold, I just find it easier for measuring butter for recipes. You can shape butter anyway you'd like. I'll let you know what to do with the raw buttermilk soon, then we'll use that to make sour cream. So stay tuned...
If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Have a great day!