You can't tell Stork from Butter?

It's the middle of Pantomime season so you're all allowed to shout "Oh, yes we can", but how about making your own butter? This time of year is great for picking up double cream that's near its sell by date from the Supermarket. Just after Easter or Wimbledon are also good times.

I make butter using my Kenwood mixer, you could also use an electric whisk, or even make it by hand.

I put the cream in the mixer with a pinch of salt and a small pinch of sugar for every 300ml. I've no idea why I use the sugar it's just that I saw a lady who had made the butter for Chatsworth house for about 50 years do it; who am I to argue with her experience!

The ingredients

Using the K beater on the mixer, start 'churning' the cream

mixing the cream

Nearly there!

mixing the cream

If you don't have a bowl cover use a tea towel, or when it 'turns' it will splatter everywhere:

Cover with a tea towel

Turn it off quickly when you hear the butter slopping around in the butter-milk.

The butter's formed

Now the important bit, rinse and work the butter in very cold water to get rid of as much of the milky stuff in the butter as you can, then put it onto a board and pat (beat) it - water will come out of it. I don't have butter pats so use my hands and a rolling pin.

Pat and hit it to extract water

I flatten it, then roll it like a Swiss roll to shape it.

The finished butter

You can see from the photo that it needs more work to extract water - I'm going to be using it quickly so it's not so important. This butter will freeze well, so there's no excuse for not making plenty.

The taste reminds me of the creamy Normandy butter you get in France; far better than shop bought and for about half the price. You also get the buttermilk; it makes great scones or can be used to dip chicken into before coating in breadcrumbs or flour when making fried chicken.

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