homemade roasted garlic butter

7:58:00 PM

I find it kind of amazing when I figure out how easy it is to do something in the kitchen that I would never think to do. One was to make my own mayonnaise, which turned out to be really easy and yummy, and the thing I tried last weekend for the first time was making my own butter.

When Googling around for information on how to do this, it seemed like everyone but me learned how to make butter in elementary school, where students would pass around a jar of cream that kids would take turn shaking until the butter separated. Yeah, this never happened in my school, but I wish it had. 

Bob loves buying Kerrygold butter, because it’s amazing, but it also gets expensive. I had to buy some heavy cream for a soup recipe and was only going to use a little bit, so decided to try out this method. I swear, food processors are a godsend.

This would be so good to make into any sort of compound butter. Mix in herbs, or blue cheese, or caramelized onions, or spices, or really anything you can think of. I went with roasted garlic here, because I happened to be roasting a bunch for said soup (recipe coming soon!) and it seemed natural to throw some in. I’ve since made this again and added nothing but salt, and it’s also delicious. 

I made this using basic grocery store cream and it was great. I bet it would be even better with really fresh cream. I recommend getting something that is 100% heavy cream - some brands have other additives and I don't know if they'd work quite as well for this. 

homemade roasted garlic butter
makes about 1 cup butter

2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp salt
4-5 large cloves garlic, separated but left with peel on (I’d roast a whole head of garlic if I were you, but that’s just me)
1 tsp olive oil

Roast the garlic: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the garlic cloves on a large square of aluminum foil, and toss with the olive oil. Fold the foil (or twist it up over the garlic) to create a packet. Place packet in oven and let roast for 40-50 minutes, until garlic is very soft. Let cool, then peel garlic cloves and set aside.

Make the butter: Add the cream to a food processor or blender and turn it on. Then wait!

This is a process that will take several minutes. It will turn into whipped cream, then really thick whipped cream, and might stay at that stage for a while. What you want to see is the milk separating from the remains - the butter. You will probably need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl or blender a few times.  

You’ll get probably half a cup of buttermilk from this process - once you see about that much milk, the butter is ready. Pour off the milk. (You can keep and use this, but keep in mind that it’s not cultured buttermilk. Most recipes call for cultured buttermilk, which is thicker, so this may not work as a substitute in recipes, particularly baking recipes where precision is more important.) Gather up the butter and squeeze it into a ball.

Fill a bowl with water and ice, then drop the butter in to help it firm up a little. 

You'll want to rinse the butter and squeeze out as much buttermilk as you can, as this helps reduce spoiling. People have different methods of rinsing the butter. I like to use a combination of the “rinse under running water” method and the “ice water in a bowl” method. I rinse it under running water, squeeze, rinse some more. If the butter starts getting soft, return it to the ice water and squeeze under the water. You want to get as much buttermilk out of the butter as you can, so you’ll want to squeeze and rinse for a few minutes.

Once butter feels firm and, well, butter-like, it’s ready. Place it into a bowl, then stir in salt (add more or less to taste) and then mash in the roasted garlic, stirring well to distribute. I recommend starting with about 3 cloves of garlic, stirring it up, then tasting to see if it’s to your liking - then add more if needed. 

Store in the fridge either in a covered container or you can roll it up in either plastic wrap or parchment paper into a log. (The second time I made this, I rolled it up in plastic wrap using a sushi mat, and it made for a very nicely shaped log!)

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