A few weeks ago I picked up the latest book from the Gourmet Farmer (Matthew Evans & friends) and instantly fell in love with it’s recipes. I must admit I haven’t seen many episodes of the TV show (my brother LOVES it) but I’ve always enjoyed those that I saw. What’s not to love? It shows Tassie from an amazing perspective, inspiring foodies to make the most of their surroundings.
Anyway, the new book is all about getting back to absolute basics and enjoying simple food in its most purest form. The book first starts with milk (how to make butter, yoghurt, cheeses), then meat (making prosciutto, sausage, salami) , fish (smoking, curing), vegetables (preserving) and condiments. I can’t wait to work my way through it – plus it’s going to be very helpful for the next Pickle Club meet!
Spring is in bloom! Just picked from the side of the road.
I’m quite ashamed to say that until not that long ago I didn’t even realise that butter was simply made from whipped cream. I just never thought about it before, so of course when I saw a recipe for cultured butter I was intrigued. Cultured butter has natural ‘live’ cultures (from yoghurt) and left to sit up to 24 hours for flavour to develop. It’s then processed exactly the same way as any other normal butter. I’d have to warn that this is quite a messy process trying to squeeze out all the buttermilk but I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it is! I’m not sure if the ‘live’ cultures actually worked and made my butter more flavoursome but it was a great process anyway.
So… what goes well with pure delicious butter? Fruit toast with lashings of the stuff of course :) This recipe is based on an Irish style soda bread with sultanas, currants and spices. There’s no yeast so it doesn’t take as long to make (compared to your average loaf of bread). I made this on Sunday morning for breakfast and from beginning to end only took about an hour. Perfect for this Saturday’s brekky… yes!
Have a good week Lovelies :)
Homemade Cultured Butter
Recipe by Matthew Evans
1200ml full (pouring or whipping) cream
2.5 tbsp natural live yoghurt (Greek yoghurt)
1 tbsp salt
1. Pour the cream and yogurt into a sterilised jar and mix well. Leave it to sit at room temperature (around 20ºC) for 12-24 hours. The longer you leave it the stronger flavour. After 24 hours, refrigerate until cool.
2. Pour the cream into a food processor (with a whipping/mixing attachment) and whip it good :) The cream will become whipped and thick and will then separate from itself and turn into butter and buttermilk! Amazing! Drain off the buttermilk and reserve (for the fruit toast recipe and/or to make your next batch butter). In a large clean jar (I used the same jar as before) place 1 litre of chilled water and add the butter ‘grains’. Shake the jar for a few minutes to help wash out the remaining buttermilk.
3. To salt the butter, either add 1 tbsp sea salt to the chilled water before shaking or add in the next step whilst shaping the butter for a slightly crunchier texture.
4. Once you’ve shaken as much buttermilk out as you can, discard the water and place the butter on a clean chopping board. Use clean wet hands to knead the butter for about 5 minutes. This will remove even more buttermilk and will bring the butter grains completely together. (Add salt here if you didn’t add it to the jar previously). If you have butter pats use them to work the butter together. Divide the butter in half if you find it easier to work in smaller quantities. Shape and place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks (I placed half on mine in the freezer to use for a later date).
200g plain white flour
200g whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
5 rounded teaspoons sugar
375 ml buttermilk
100g sultanas or raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
Butter for greasing the tin
1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Add all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
2. Add butter milk and mix to a soft consistency. Place the mixture into a greased tin and flatten the top and brush with a little milk.
3. Bake for 40-45 minute. If the top is getting too brown, cover with aluminum foil for the last 20 minute.
4. Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean tea towel and let cool before slicing and scoffing with the delicious cultured butter!