I love the tangy, complex taste of cultured butter, but I rarely buy it since it is pretty expensive. It's pretty easy to make regular butter (just overwhip some cream) but that seemed too easy. When I started researching how to make cultured butter, I realized that the technique for culturing it is the same as for making homemade creme fraiche. (another expensive product that's much more economical homemade) Since I'd just made homemade creme fraiche (pictured above with Sourdough-Buckwheat Pancakes with Caramelized Apples) I thought I'd try making butter out of some of the creme fraiche. It worked out better than I could have dreamed. Too bad we had already eaten our pancakes with regular store-bought butter before I got around to it. Yes, we put butter and creme fraiche on our pancakes. Something wrong with that?
So here's the process: Make creme fraiche (We'll get to that in another post and there are many ways to do it. All excellent and easy)
Begin beating it with a hand mixer at medium low speed. Turn it up as it begins to reach whipped cream consistency. When it goes beyond cream and starts to look more yellow and curdled, you'll want to turn it down again because you don't want to splatter buttermilk all over. It took me about 8 minutes to get to this point.
Once all the buttermilk is drained off, add cold water and work it around and through the butter with a spatula. If you skip this step your butter is likely to sour quickly. Do this about three times until the water is fairly clear.
Drain off the water and transfer the butter to a piece of parchment. This is where you work in your salt (if wanted) or any other flavorings. I made a small amount of lavender butter out of some of it. I'm thinking biscuits with honey!