Monday, June 14, 2010

"Buttering" Up

One of the most generous - and overwhelming - gifts I recieved from the overburdened fridge of my co-op placement was a rather large donation of whipping cream. And by large, I mean I came home with no less than 4 litres, or 16 cups, of the stuff. One measly cup made it's way into some luscious, cake-enrobing ganache, but then I was left with 15 cups of the undrinkable, not-likely-to-be-used but decadently good stuff sitting in my fridge. I wasn't planning on making ice cream or a fluffily-frosted cream cake any time soon - for one thing we were about to jet off to Florida for a week, and for another I felt...well... guilty about imposing good after baked good on the poor kind folks at my mom's office. But I couldn't just toss all that cream. 

So I dragged out the stand mixer and the cheesecloth and made butter. Well, really, what would you do? In fairly short order those impossible-to-surmount litres of cream had transformed into neatly wrapped blocks of sweet, pale yellow butter. I portioned the batches into 8-oz segments before wrapping them up, then stuffed all but one into a giant Ziploc and stashed it in the freezer. There will be no want for the good stuff in the near future... at least for me. The rest of the family? Well, they can get their own. They don't know I've got this cache anyways!

Mason Jar Butter
Makes roughly 6 1/4 lbs of butter, 8 cups of buttermilk
15 cups (organic preferably) heavy whipping cream (I used 35% fat, but something higher like 40-45% is better)
1 large mason jar
1 marble

  1. Fill half - 2/3 of the mason jar with cream, add the clean marble and screw on the lid.
  2. Shake like there's no tomorrow - a good 15-20 minutes at least - and if you've got kids enlist them to help!
  3. We were taught a rhyme called "Come Butter Come" in school to repeat while shaking it:
    "Come butter come.
    Come butter come.
    Boys are standing at the gate,
    Waiting for their butter cake.
    Come butter come.
    Come butter come.
    Dogs are waiting at the door
    To lick the cake crumbs off the floor.
    Come butter come."
  4. Eventually you'll stop hearing the marble clanking around in the jar, and the sloshing will sound runnier - that's all the buttermilk!
  5. Strain it through a cheesecloth and wash under cold water, then squeeze out the remaining buttermilk and washing water. Wrap in cling wrap and stick in the fridge or freezer!
Of course, if you have a stand mixer and a whip, just stick the cream in there and let her rip until the buttermilk floods out. Just watch for it - it really does "flood" out!
Amount Per 1-tbsp Serving
Calories: 62.2
Total Fat: 6.7 g
Cholesterol: 24.7 mg
Sodium: 6.9 mg
Total Carbs: 0.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.4 g

Doesn't it look all gloriously decdent and rich in it's bowl?? At the same time as making all that luxurious butter, I was cooking up another kind of buttery treat - but without the dairy butter. Yes, that apple butter of mine was at it again, this time in an adaptation of a tried and true pie recipe by none other than Elizabeth Baird (and out of my favourite cookbook of hers, no less). As I usually do to recipes not commissioned by others, I nixed the eggs in favour of a blend of silken tofu and cream cheese, making for a rich, silky custard, and I lowered the fat content by substituting the cream (since you know, it was in use) with a can of evaporated skim milk. Then I kicked up all the spices, poured the filling into my prepped pie shells (you can use pre-made frozen if you want) and stuck them in to bake.

It smelled like Thanksgiving. Or a Thanksgiving-Christmas-apple picking ménage à trois, the apple aromas playing off the pumpkin pie-like spices and the scent of baking crust. I took one of the pies in with me on my last day at co-op as a thank you token, where both staff and kids polished it off in no time flat. All of them thought the pie was pumpkin, all of them loved the flavour, and none of them - especially the kids - suspected the tofu. I had bet my supervisor weeks before that I could get the kids to eat - and like - tofu, and I was making good on that bet! I waltzed out of there that afternoon congratulating myself with a sing-song "I got the kids to eat toooooffffuuuuu.... aaaand they liiiiiked it!".

Immature? You bet! Work rubbed off on me!

Eggless Apple Butter Pie
Serves 24, 2 pies
2 unbaked (9") pie crusts
1 12-oz can evaporated skim milk, divided
1 tbsp tapioca flour
2 cups unsweetened apple butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
5 oz low-fat silken tofu
2 tbsp low-fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place pie crusts on a baking sheet.
  2. In a small dish, mix together 2 tbsp of the evaporated milk with the tapioca flour.
  3. Add remaining milk, apple butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, tofu, cream cheese and vanilla to the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth.
  4. Add the tapioca mixture and puree in.
  5. Pour into prepared crusts and bake for 60 minutes, until center is mostly set.
  6. Chill overnight before serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 112.1
Total Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 1.3 mg
Sodium: 98.5 mg
Total Carbs: 17.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 2.3 g

1 comment :

  1. I've always wanted to make butter but haven't yet. It looks easy peasy.


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