So you bought some heavy whipping cream. You only needed a dash for that soup you were making, or for your coffee, and you have a lot left over, just sitting there, waiting to go off. With a little bit of work and an even smaller amount of knowledge, you can have yourself three versatile products from this leftover.
Butter is cheap and everywhere so it’s not essential that you make it. But since you have left over cream to use, why not? You don’t need to go online and search for a fancy butter churn, all you need for this is a little butter ‘shaker’ you can get online for cheap (I got mine at a thrift store), or use an electric stand mixer with a shield guard (and plastic wrap, as this can be messy). If you’re not using the butter shaker or mixer, use a mason jar with a lid this will work too.
For the mixer: Pour in your cream, put the shield guard on, wrap some plastic around it for extra protection and turn on. Start slow and then progress to a medium speed.
Just keep whipping and watch it becomes a beautiful whipped cream and continue on. As it gets thicker and thicker you’ll start to hear (and see) splashing. This is the buttermilk separating from the butter. If you use a jar, which is a lot easier and nowhere near as messy, the process is basically the same. Pour in your cream and keep on shaking. Rotate which hand you use because you’ll get a workout…which is great, as you are making butter to no doubt smear all over some crumpets later!
Tip: Add some sea salt, or honey, or anything for that matter, to your butter when soft to make posh artisan butters as gifts or for special occasions!
Take off the lid and you will see the cream is whipped (this is also a neat trick for thickening up cream if you don’t have a whisk!). Put the lid back on and keep shaking. You will start to feel and hear the lump of butter jumping from top to bottom in the jar. This means the buttermilk is starting to separate. Retain the milk for another time and take out the butter. Wash it until the water runs clear and not ‘milky’, this will release any excess buttermilk and help the butter to last longer and not go rancid. Spoon it into your butter jar and put in the fridge, as there are no preservatives or any nasty no no’s in this butter, you’ll want to use it up within a week or so.
Crème fraîche is expensive and not always easy to find depending on where you live. It’s a beautiful thick, slightly tart, acidic cream, great for dolloping on a pie (my favourite), stirring into a pasta sauce, finishing your scrambled eggs with, or really absolutely anything! It really is very adaptable, and sweet or savoury, you can even use it in baking. It’s another premium product you can make at home with literally zero effort, and again, using up some of that leftover cream and the buttermilk by-product from that butter you made earlier.
All you need to do for this is simply grab a small mason jar, or a small bowl, doesn’t really matter. Pour one cup of cream into your chosen container, then add two tablespoons of the buttermilk and stir. Tear off a piece of kitchen roll and rest on top. Ok, you ready the last and final stage? Take notes… leave it out on the counter in a warm place about 70°f (20-21°c) for up to 24hrs. It’s really that simple. You will notice that after 12hrs or so it will be thick and a touch sour and ready to refrigerate. It will last in the fridge for about 10 days or so, so make it a few days before you need it, and it will be perfect! Easy right?
So there you have it: three quick and easy ideas for you to try something you probably haven’t made before but have eaten a thousand times! And all from a leftover ingredient. Give it a try!
Did you spoon eat the crème fraîche, like I did? Or make buttermilk pancakes! There are so many different things you can do with this, just alway remember to enjoy. And tell me about it here of course