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X Marks the Salt

Today’s morning lecture (on Wednesdays we don’t cook … a much needed break) was on making your own yogurt, cheese, and butter.


See those wooden paddles on the top right? Those are called “butter hands” and they are used to shape the butter (just keep on whipping cream and you get butter) into the rectangular blocks and of course, the butter balls.

The very yellow butter to the right was made with the Jersey cow milk at Ballymaloe (there are two Jersey cows) and the x is used to mark the salted butter (the other is unsalted). To salt butter, you really just add salt, then remix. Darina recommends dairy salt or possibly finely crushed sea salt, but not the usual kind of table salt.

To shape a butter ball, you just hold the bottom paddle flat and move the top paddle over the butter until you get a nice round ball.

Here are some other dairy treats we sampled…

The heart dish ( I guess there are two of them pictured there) is called Coeur de la Crème. It’s a summer pudding made with homemade cottage cheese and served with fruits like strawberries, red currants, blueberries, loganberries, etc. Also, the dish with the sliced figs around the plate is called Mel y Mato. It’s a curd cheese dish that has lemon zest grated into it and is served with toasted pine nuts, mint leaves, figs, and honey.


The dish in the tall glass vase-type container is Srikhand. It’s made with homemade yogurt, saffron, cardamon seeds, sugar, and garnished with pistachio nuts. It’s very sweet and Indian. Remind you of anyone?

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