This great recipe is from a guest contributor, Quinn Fucile! Quinn is a home cook/experimenter and a food Youtuber. Be sure to check out his Instagram, Twitter and Youtube channels for more tasty ideas and projects!  

Parmigiano in bowl

If you’ve made conventional cultured butter from buttermilk, then this is going to be a bit different. The process is a bit more involved but the reward is certainly worth it. Instead of butter with a slight tang, this butter is savory and funky in all the best ways.

Disclaimer: Parmigiano and similar cheeses contain butyric acid, which in high concentrations does not smell good; it has a distinctly cheesy and unpleasant acidic aroma. Obviously, in fermentation, your nose should be your guide for safety, but as a warning, this project is likely going to smell bad in a specific way at certain stages. The final product is delicious and not nearly as pungent, but if you have a sensitive stomach or are inexperienced in fermentation, maybe hold off on this project.

The supplies you will need are:   

  • Heavy whipping cream (33-35% fat), I recommend starting with a 1 or 2L batch
  • Real Parmigiano Reggiano, at least a small wedge and not the pre-grated stuff
  • A 500mL glass jar and a 2L glass jar
  • An immersion circulator, yogurt maker, or some other ways of relatively precise temperature control
  • A digital scale
  • Salt

I start with about 500ml of cream in the smaller jar (thoroughly cleaned of course), but I also weigh the cream. To the cream, I add one percent of its weight in salt, so if you measure out about 450g of cream, add 4.5g of salt. If your scale doesn’t have that level of precision I would recommend over salting slightly rather than under salting. Then you want to grate your Parmigiano cheese directly into the jar. You don’t have to be very precise for this since the cheese is acting as a starter culture but estimate about a tablespoon grated cheese. 

Parmigiano in mason jar  Grated parmesean in jar

Incubate overnight at 43-45C in the temperature control device of your choosing. In the morning it should look set almost like yogurt or crème fraîche, and have a strong but distinctively cheesy aroma.

whisk in cream

Weigh your additional cream, depending on how much butter you want to make, again adding 1% of its weight in salt. Add your fermented cream to the fresh cream, I did 2L total, and incubate another 24h. Once again it should seem set and very funky, then chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, before churning into butter. Most of the off-aromas are going to be in the buttermilk so I recommend just throwing that out.

parmiagiano in bowl

Keep your Parmigiano butter in the fridge and use liberally in any savory recipe, or just on bread!


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