We went out for a meal for A Man’s Aunt’s birthday yesterday evening, and were mooching back home today. We got back to town just in time to dash into the supermarket to get some bread, which of course meant they were reducing all of the short date produce. I came back with a loaf of bread, a bottle of milk, 4 packets of 2 “The Best” gammon steaks, a packet of bread rolls, eggs, some biscuity cakey things, a quiche, pork pies and some double cream, all for the grand old price of £2.42. Huzzah for emergency shopping! Of course, my freezer is now utterly full again but I had the issue that cream doesn’t freeze all that well. I decided I’d try out something I’ve been wanting to give a go for a while – homemade butter.
It’s not something that’s going to save you money unless the cream is highly reduced in price but it’s quite interesting to watch it happen. The way I did it was the jar method, but you can easily use an electric whisk or stand mixer instead. Pour the cream into a jar twice as big (i.e. for a pint of cream, I poured it into a 2 pint jar) with a tight fitting lid. Shake the jar (or whip the cream) through the stages of lightly whipped and stiff peaks, right through until it’s overwhipped. Just keep going. Eventually, the cream will start to separate and you’ll get little yellowish lumps of butter in the cream. It’s ready once the butter is sloshing around in a puddle of buttermilk. Drain the buttermilk and wash the butter under very cold water, until the water runs clear (you need to wash the excess buttermilk from the butter or it’ll go off very quickly). Shape, wrap and freeze your butter until needed. From a pint of cream, I got about 200g butter and 200ml buttermilk.
Don’t throw out the buttermilk. It can be used in place of ordinary milk in more or less any recipe. I decided to make these yummy apple buttermilk pancakes.
Apple Buttermilk Pancakes
200g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
- Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Sift the flour, caster sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk the buttermilk into the dry ingredients.
- Grate the apples on the coarse side of a grater. You don’t need to worry about peeling or even coring the apples – just grate the whole lot together. Mix into the batter. If possible, leave the batter to sit for a little while so that the dry ingredients soak up the wet ones.
- Heat a frying pan to medium-hot. Add a little oil and spoon in small amounts of batter. It should start to puff up a little and cook from the outside in. Turn once the batter has completely set and cook until both sides are brown. Either eat them as you go or set aside on a warm plate.
- Serve with maple syrup or a little butter and jam. Yummy!