111 Elm St, Ste 1
New Canaan, CT 06840 203.966.1056
dmittedly, when I was initially introduced to the concept of churning butter, I was curious as to why one would want to, as butter is a simple item to purchase, readily available, and typically does not break the bank. That said, I am always drawn to the idea of preparing fresh food that I can make anywhere and quickly. The bonus of only needing one ingredient added to the appeal.
The Churncraft butter churn arrived in sturdy packaging with directions and a personalized note. The clear jar is made of a heavy duty thick glass, and the paddle and lid are made of high quality plastic which attaches to the glass jar easily and securely. The churn comes with a non-skid pad, easy to follow directions, and a choice of colors for the wood grip handle.
After a quick rinse of soap and warm water, I was ready to play with my newest gadget. I added cream to my clean jar, and I churned. That’s it. In under half an hour, I made butter. And then, I tried it. And then, I was sold. Not only did I have homemade whipped butter, but fresh buttermilk as well. The flavors were natural, clean and pure.
The physical act of making butter is straightforward: Pour heavy cream into container, twist lid on tightly and churn. Once the cream starts to solidify, the milk will start to rise, the two will separate, and butter will be formed. I poured the contents of the jar into a metal sieve, separating the buttermilk from the butter, using the company’s wooden paddles to strain the milk away from the butter.
With no added preservatives, the process is simple and the product is superior. I now appreciate why grandparents churned butter at home. It may not have been due to price or accessibility, but because they wanted their families to have the healthiest of options.
Once my butter was strained, I went a step further, and separated it into three sections, leaving one plain, and making the other two into compound butters. I added fresh garlic cloves that I had roasted with olive oil to one batch, and homemade sundried tomatoes and fresh basil to the other.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and filled up on bread and butter before your entrée arrived? That’s what happened in my kitchen. Using vegetables from my garden, along with a high quality heavy cream produced a better butter than any package I have ever purchased at a grocery store. The whipped butter stands in a league of its own and can last for weeks, assuming it doesn’t get eaten right away.
Before refrigerating, I put the compound butters in mason jars and formed the plain butter into ¼ pound sticks, which I slice as needed. The initial recipe called for two quarts of cream, and from that, I had over a quart of buttermilk in addition to over 1.5 pounds of butter.
Kristen Frey, the Churncraft founder and owner, was raised on a farm with her parents, six siblings, and a host of farm animals. She learned at a young age how to live off the land, milk cows and churn butter. After marrying and traveling the world, she and her husband Hannes raised five children and taught them the ways of balancing quality with practicality, using natural foods with nostalgic tools in a modern kitchen.
Embracing the knowledge that our current society is gravitating towards sustainable and farm to table foods, Kristen and her family created the Churncraft butter churn.
The company continues to be family run with two of their daughters assisting every step of the way. The family works together as they develop and market this updated version of an antique churn, reminiscent from days of old, with a modern, clean twist.
Options to cook with fresh butter are endless. I chose to make a dish with both plain and compound butters and buttermilk, as well as incorporating Saute’ magazine’s Spring edition featured cooking gadget, the immersion circulator, also known as sous vide cooking. (Saute magazine: What is Sous Vide?) I vacuum sealed chicken thighs and boneless chicken breasts with salt and plain butter, and dropped them in the water bath. The methods of sous vide cooking range from simple to complex, but with the right time and temperature, butter and minimal spices are all a home chef needs to create perfectly textured dishes time after time. After the chicken was fully cooked, I patted the pieces dry, dipped them in fresh buttermilk and coated them with crushed waffle crumbs. I finished the process in the deep fryer, creating a chicken and waffle dish, perfect to serve, and to eat, at any time of the day. I also made sous vide asparagus with the roasted garlic butter and corn with the sundried tomato butter. The addition of the homemade butter to both vegetables and to proteins adds another dimension to the cooking experience, as well as added health benefits of reducing (or in this case, eliminating) any added preservatives.
As always, I am eager to test out new gadgets, or old gadgets that are new again. I had a great time making the butter, and an even better time enjoying the fruits of my labor. I view the churn as the kitchen accessory I didn’t know I needed to have, until I had one. You won’t find me in the butter aisle at the grocery store, but you might find me at my kitchen counter with a glass of wine, a French baguette and a mason jar full of freshly churned butter.
Ready to try your hand at buttermilk and freshly churned butter? The investment is not huge, nor is the amount of counter or cabinet space needed, but the rewards can be priceless. Visit www.churncraft.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to place an order and then get ready for your turn to churn.