When fall comes, I feel like baking. For one thing, I wanted to make a plum cake that called for buttermilk. So I put buttermilk on my shopping list. I also kind of wanted to make a chocolate cake that called for a stick of butter.
At the farmer's market, a vendor we like a lot told us he had fresh cream to sell. We almost passed it up until he mentioned it could be made into butter. When I quizzed him, he said the easiest way was to pour the pint of cream into a quart jar and just shake. He said he used to do it when he visited schools to show kids how butter is made. My mind started to work. Butter.... means buttermilk! We bought the cream.
The cream and the quart jar. I shook that stuff for about 20 minutes. Shake shake shake! I was just starting to give up when a miracle happened.
Butter!! I made it myself, all Vermont style!
Strained out, the butter part was exactly a quarter of a pound. That's what I needed for the chocolate cake recipe.
"Grandma Effie's chocolate cake"--super-easy recipe from my mother in law. Dump everything into a food processor, blend, pour, bake in a bundt pan, delicious.
As for the buttermilk, I got about 1 cup after straining out the butter. I used it to make a plum cake with my mother's recipe, perhaps we should call it "Grandmaman's Buttermilk Plum Cake." I love this recipe because it's great with different fruits, like raspberries or peaches or maybe even pears.
Have you ever made your own butter? When I talked to the cream farmer the next week, he mentioned he'd forgotten to tell me that the cream should be around 55 degrees to turn into butter. Don't chill too much, but also cooler than room temperature. Good to know!