Along with empty shelves and a shortage of fruit and veg, one of the myriad benefits of Brexit is butter, once a staple, has been elevated to a luxury item with a 250g packet approaching the price point of a small family hatchback.
One way to alleviate this Tory-inflicted inflation is to walk past the Lurpak and Kerrygold and head straight for the double cream, because churning your own butter is not only about a third cheaper, it is also ridiculously easy and produces a far superior product.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: None
Skill level: As easy as switching on an electric whisk
- double cream – 600ml
- sea salt – 1½ tsp
Your cream needs to be at room temperature (otherwise it will take forever to whisk) so take it out of the fridge an hour or two before starting.
Also, have a bowl of cold water and ice standing by.
Pour the cream into a large clean bowl.
Whisk until you have butter!
For those who like a little more detail, I used a handheld electric whisk, the process took about 5 minutes and had three stages. First you’ll have whipped cream, next a substance similar to scrambled eggs and finally a big clump of butter clogging your whisk blades and a puddle of buttermilk.
Squeeze the butter to remove as much buttermilk as you can*.
Then wash (and squeeze) the butter in the bowl of iced water to remove the remaining buttermilk. Once the squeeze-water is clear, you are done.
‘But why the washing and ice?‘ I hear you ask, dear reader? Removing the buttermilk prevents the butter going rancid and therefore ensures a decent shelf-life. The ice simply cools everything down so the butter doesn’t start melting in the heat of your excited little hands.
Sprinkle the salt (if using) over the butter and gently mix/knead in.
Shape into a butter-shaped block and pat dry with kitchen roll.
Wrap in grease-proof paper and store as usual.
Spread thickly on any suitable conduit and enjoy.
*Never throw away the buttermilk as it has many tasty uses, such as below.
Verdict: Tastes like butter, innit. A creamy, subtly salted spreadable delight better than any upmarket premium brand and about two thirds of the price. Two tasty ways to use your by-product buttermilk are, from Ireland these potato pancakes called ‘Boxty‘, and Germany the pizza(ish) ‘Flammkuchen‘.
Drink: Perfect thickly spread on toast for a post-pub snack. Accompany with mug of tea or ill-advised bedtime beer.
Entertainment: Family – ‘The Piano’. Parents – ‘The Gold’. Father and child – ‘Community’