Let us learn to separate cream from milk and prepare butter. Using homemade butter let us also learn to prepare ghee or clarified butter.
To separate cream from milk there are three methods:
1. By cooling milk
2. By boiling & cooling milk
3. From curd made with full cream milk
To separate cream by any method we first need to have full cream milk
Method1: To separate cream from milk by boiling & cooling milk
Take two litres of full cream milk into a bowl and heat on a gas stove. Heat the milk till it reaches a boil. Cool the milk till it reaches room temperature. Now place this bowl of milk in refrigerator for 24 hours, uncovered. Next day observe a thick layer of cream floating on the milk. Carefully remove the cream with a spoon and take it into a box and store this in refrigerator till use. Now boil this milk and use for daily requirement to make curd or paneer or even ice creams. Similarly collect some more cream on the following days to get sufficient quantity to make butter. This cream can be used to make butter, to prepare ice creams and cakes. Also this cream is be used to thicken and enhance the taste of gravy preparations.
Method2: To separate cream from milk by cooling milk
Take two litres of full cream milk into a bowl and place this bowl in refrigerator for 24 hours, uncovered. Next day observe a thick layer of smooth cream floating on the milk. Carefully separate the cream with a ladle and place it in a bowl. This cream is too soft. Use this cream in ice cream preparations, preparing icing for cakes or as a garnish on gravy preparations or soups. As the milk is already pasteurized at milk centers we can use this cream even if the milk is not boiled. But it would be difficult to make butter out of this cream. Instead this may be heated, as it is, on low flame to get ghee. However there would be lot of wastage as residue once we melt it to make ghee and hence not advisable.
Method3: To separate cream from curd made with full cream milk
Take two litres of full cream milk into a bowl and heat on a gas stove. Heat the milk till it reaches a boil. Cool the milk till it is lukewarm. By touching the outer surface of the milk bowl one can feel the warmth of milk inside. When the milk is lukewarm add some curd to set the milk. Separate a portion of the cream with a spoon and add curd into the milk as curd added above the cream would not help milk to set into curd. So separate a portion of cream with a spoon and add half a teaspoon of curd to the milk and mix. Now cover the bowl and keep it aside to set the curd. Curd sets fast in warm and hot weathers, whereas it takes time to set in cold weathers. After few hours the curd sets. It is easier to separate cream from chilled curd. Therefore once the curd is set place the curd bowl in refrigerator for few hours---the curd is fresh so it won’t be firm---when kept in refrigerator the curd chills and thickens. Also curd turns sour when kept at room temperature for long hours—so it is advisable to keep curd in refrigerator till use. After few hours remove the bowl from refrigerator and separate the thick cream with a spoon and collect it into a bowl. For few more days repeat this process of separating cream as mentioned above to collect sufficient amount of cream to make butter. Remember that the cream prepared in this method can only be used to make butter. This cream is not good to use for icing cakes or in ice creams.
Till now we have learnt to separate cream from full cream milk in three different ways. Now let us learn to make butter using these creams.
Butter is prepared with two types of creams
1. Cream made by boiling and cooling milk
2. Cream collected from curd made with full cream milk
Make butter with cream made by boiling & cooling milk:
Fix a dough kneading blade to the food processor bowl. Add 300gms cream and 225gms of water to the processor bowl. These measurements ensure the processor bowl is not overloaded. Add water till the dough kneading blade is just submerged—here 225gms water was sufficient to submerge the blade. Now run the processor on low speed and observe that within few seconds butter is formed. When we observe spots on the inner side of the lid it indicates that butter has formed. Once butter is formed, transfer the mixture into a bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining cream adding cream and water as per measurements to avoid spillage. Collect all the butter along with the liquid into the bowl. In a separate bowl take water and keep it aside. Now take handful of butter and smoothen it in the cup of palm by tossing the butter ball in palm. In between press the butter in palm to remove excess liquid. Remove as much of liquid as possible from the butter and place it in water in the bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining butter and add to the water in the bowl. As the butter is made with cream from milk but not curd it would be tasteless hence discard it. To remove the smell of milk we need to wash the butter. By turning two to three times in water wash the butter. Also repeat this process adding fresh water two to three times. Now take butter in palm and remove excess water as mentioned above and collect into a bowl. Place this butter bowl in refrigerator till use. Use this butter to make cakes or spread on phulkas or rotis to keep them tasty and soft for long hours or spread on a toast and serve.
Make butter with cream collected from curd made with full cream milk:
To make butter here I have taken 340gms of cream collected from curd made with full cream milk. Fix a dough kneading blade to the food processor bowl. Add cream and add water to the processor bowl till the blade is submerged. Now run the processor on low speed till butter is formed. It takes few seconds to form butter. When we observe spots on the inner side of the lid it indicates that butter has formed. Once butter is formed, transfer the mixture into a bowl. Take a portion of butter in the cup of palm and smoothen it so that liquid flows from the gaps of fingers and butter remains in the palm. In between press the butter in palm to remove excess liquid. Remove as much of liquid as possible from the butter and place it in water in the bowl. To remove the smell of curd we need to wash the butter. By turning two to three times in water wash the butter. Also repeat this process adding fresh water two to three times. Now take butter in palm and remove excess water as mentioned above and collect into a bowl. Place this butter bowl in refrigerator till use. After separating butter from the liquid it can be used as buttermilk. As the butter is made using cream separated from curd, the remaining liquid may be used as buttermilk. Just strain once to separate the floury mixture from the liquid, which doesn’t taste good while drinking, using a tea strainer. Serve chilled the buttermilk which would be tasty.
For 340gms of cream we get 125gms of butter. It appears that for more quantity of cream we get less quantity of butter---but while separating cream a portion of curd also comes along with cream—so that should be kept in mind.
Make ghee (Clarified Butter) melting butter:
There are again two ways to melt butter
1. Using stove top
2. Using a microwave oven
Learn to melt butter on a stove top:
Here I have taken 315gms of butter to make ghee.
Heat a non-stick pan and add butter. Melt the butter on low flame only. Do not stir the melting butter as the residue gets mixed with ghee and spoils the color of ghee. Just allow butter to melt on low flame only. During the process of melting hear a hissing sound. We hear the hissing sound as the water in the butter evaporates. So when the hissing sound stops, it indicates that there is no more water content in the melted butter as it has transformed to clarified butter i.e., ghee. While preparing ghee observe froth on the surface---do not worry about this as it would disappear on its own after some time. Do not stir the mixture to remove the froth as it would slowly disappear on its own. After few minutes ghee is formed. Cool the ghee till warm. Place a small holed strainer in a bowl and transfer the ghee to separate the residue. Wet get 212gms of ghee with 315gms of butter. When melting butter to make ghee a nice aroma fills the space. To the residue in the pan add the residue in the strainer and some cooked rice. Mix all well to get a tasty rice preparation. If the residue is too dark in color (which is formed due to overheating the butter while melting) it is advisable not to use that as it is carcinogenic. If the residue is light brown in color use it with rice. When butter is melted on low heat and removed from heat at the right time the residue would not turn dark in color. In olden days when ghee is prepared rice is mixed with the residue and fed to children. Use this ghee while preparing some special recipes or serve adding on hot rice.
Learn to melt butter in a microwave oven:
Here I have used 150gms of butter to make ghee in microwave oven.
Take a microwave safe bowl which is having a microwave safe lid. Place butter in the microwave safe bowl and place this bowl in microwave oven. Melt butter on high power for 4 minutes. Observe that after 2 minutes butter is fully melted and starts boiling. After 4 minutes cover the bowl partially and melt again on high power for 31/2minutes. As temperatures differ from oven to oven depending on the capacity of the oven, keep a watch while making ghee. After 2 minutes of standing time remove the bowl from oven and cool till warm. Strain the ghee using a tea strainer. With 150gms of butter we get 100gms of ghee. Just scrape the inner side of the bowl using a wooden spatula to clear the residue. It is easy to make ghee in microwave oven with less mess.
Many do not know how to separate cream from full cream milk and make butter out of it. Make cream, butter and ghee at home and enjoy the freshness.
Points to Remember:
Many points are covered in the text above—however some important points are mentioned here.
After placing the bowl of milk in refrigerator, do not cover the bowl. Covering the bowl will not separate the cream fully. The more the milk is chilled the better cream is separated. Hence to chill the milk thoroughly, it is advisable not to cover the bowl. Use the top rack (Rack just below the freezer) to place the bowl. This would chill the milk fast and also there is no danger of any particles falling into the milk.
Cream collected after boiling and cooling the milk may be used in many ways. Use this cream in ice creams, to make butter, to add to dishes, to add to batter while making cakes. Whereas cream collected by other methods is not good to use in some cases. For example cream collected from the second method is not suitable for making butter and cream collected from the third method is used only to make butter and not for any other purpose. So as per requirement use the above methods to separate cream.
(Please note that cream has been collected at different days. Depending upon my requirements, I converted the cream into Butter and Ghee (Clarified Butter). In other words, cream to butter to ghee is made as per my home requirements.)
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