Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Great Home-Made Jam Sandwich

Two of the nanny goats at the farm where I get my milk had kids; these wee brown and white twins …

and this snowy white singleton:

They're so gorgeous, I wish my grandkids lived closer so I could take them to see.

This week I wanted to make some parmesan cheese. Parmesan uses low-fat milk, so I needed to find a use for all the cream that comes on top of my raw milk (this week I got 10 litres). I ended up having a bit of a dairy binge - I made the parmesan cheese from ~7 litres milk, butter from a bit more than 1 litre of cream, yoghurt from a litre of the milk, and ricotta salata from the buttermilk and whey. I have also kept a litre of milk for my weekly consumption, and about 400ml of cream for my morning porridge!

Here's the cream I used for the butter:

I was a bit nervous about this, I wasn't sure that gravity and pouring-off-the-top would give me a high enough fat percentage cream to whip. All seemed pretty good though:

It whipped up beautifully.

But then it deflated and just didn't seem to want to turn into butter. Eventually I rubbed some between my fingers and decided that it actually had turned, but the low fat percentage was preventing it from all joining up into a big hunk. I poured it through some fine muslin, chucked it back in the mixer, and turned it on. Hey presto, within seconds I had this:

I ended up getting only about 160g butter, which is about 1/3 of what I got from a litre of shop bought cream. I'm a bit puzzled about this - I'd have thought the cream wouldn't whip with such a low fat content. Our shop cream is about 38% fat, so I'm guessing this must be only about 13% - nowhere near enough for whipping according to everything I've ever read.

Oh well, who knows. Next time I think I'll get Merrill to separate the cream for me, he's just bought a separator.

So here's my home-made jam sandwich:

They don't come a lot more home-made than this. The raw ingredients for the whole thing are flour, water, sugar, milk, salt, and cape-gooseberries from the garden. The bread was made using my sourdough starter - a wild yeast I captured. It is so satisfying having made something like this pretty much from scratch - I'm not about to start growing my own wheat or sugar cane though!

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