When the grass is growing fast in the spring the omega three’s are highest in milk and the cream is a golden yellow color. How much cream you get is dependent on where in lactation the cows are at, so you will see different cream lines depending on the cow.
There are two basic kinds of butter, and then ghee as well.
- Sweet Cream Butter: This is made with cream that has not been soured. It does not mean it is fresh cream, as I find the older cream separates better from the milk and is easy to scoop off the top of the jars, or you can pour it but you will get more buttermilk that way.
It is important that you use clean utensils that have been chilled, this makes butter “turn” faster. Also know that on threatening days (storm a brewing) it will be harder and take much longer for butter to “come”. You can use a canning jar, butter churn or food processor to make your butter in. I find my food processor actually makes butter faster than my churn. You put your cream in the bowl and shake or turn it on and run it until you see the cream start to turn into “whipped cream”
If you stop here you will never get butter, have faith and keep churning until it looks like this
This is butter and buttermilk. I have a fine screen that I use to pour the buttermilk through to keep for a great biscuit. Once the buttermilk is poured off you are going to start ‘washing” the butter. This is an important step if you do not want your butter to “turn” sour. Using very cold water run it into your bowl and swish your butter around in it, pour off the water and repeat until the water runs clear. You will notice your butter is now very yellow! Using grass fed milk you do not have to add color like they do in store butter.
Now add your salt if you like and salt to taste, you can use Himalayan salt or Celtic salt or any salt you like. Stir the salt all through your butter.
Now I move my butter into my glass measuring cup, but any glass bowl will work (or cup). Using the back of a spoon “work” all the water out of the butter now, until you can see no more water. I like to use my measuring cup because it has a pour spout and you only press out a little water at a time. Once it is all pressed out and you can get no more, put your butter in a pint or half pint jar and put a lid on it. You can place in freezer and it will store over a year, or place in a bowl of ice on table for fresh, not too hard butter.
- Sour Cream Butter
Only difference here is that you set the cream out to room temp and leave for 2-3 days to sour. No need to add a culture, good clean raw milk has beneficial bacteria that will have a very pleasant “sour cream” smell. Our cows are tested for any “bad” bugs when they first freshen, guaranteeing a healthy udder means healthy milk!
Ghee is the milk solids only. I have never heard of using sour cream butter for ghee, but do not see why it can’t be used? Melt your butter very slowly at a very low heat, you will see more buttermilk come out of the butter, you want to pour that off, and continue to pour off until only the milk solids are left (the yellow stuff). Pour into a canning jar and seal. This should keep for years, but I have never had it last that long as we use it up in a week!