I am reworking my Dish of Apples and Wheat food item, so that I can make it a part of my KASF Pentathlon entry. Instead of using commercially bought butter this time, I am excited to be using hand churned, cultured butter! Thanks very much to THL Reyni-Hrefna from the Midrealm for her advice in culturing and working this product. I am more than pleased with my results!
For my dairy I used both whole, non-homogenized milk and heavy cream from South Mountain Creamery in Maryland. I added Siggi's skyr to it to culture it and left it sit out, covered with a linen cloth, for a little more than a day in a room that was close to 70 degrees. Everything I read said that you would know when it is cultured because it will thicken and smell slightly sour, but not "bad". I approached this tentatively, as I have this almost-fear of spoiled dairy (I wont even use milk once it has been open for a few days, even if the expiration date is no where in site). Once I went through the process, however, I completely understood that statement. The cultured dairy indeed thickened, but it also smelled exactly like the yogurt that I had added to the milk. It smelled fantastic.
I then put it in the refrigerator to drop the temperature closer to 60 degrees and then added it to the churn. The time and effort needed to get the fat to separate from the liquid was more than I anticipated, but with my boyfriend's help, we finally got to that point.
After that I strained out the solids and spent a considerable amount of time pressing the butter and adding ice cold water to help clean the remaining buttermilk out of the butter. Finally, I ended up with a bowl of wonderful, flavorful cultured butter!