I have a bi-weekly habit I’d like to pass on to you: making your own butter. It’s amazingly easy to do, and delivers a solid high of kitchen happiness.
So in this day and age, why would you make your own butter?
Honestly- this butter tastes unlike anything you’ll buy in a grocery store. It has a fuller flavor of creamy butter that is much more aromatic than store bought butters. This heady fragrance means that you too need to be conscious of your own butter’s timeline- make your batches smaller and frequent and it will be fresher.
As good as all that sounds, this butter-maker will let you in on a secret… I do it for the buttermilk. This eponymous treat finally delivers the full understanding to its name with one small sip. I should warn you though. Once you’ve tasted this elixir, you’ll be hard pressed to leave enough leftover from your sip for making buttermilk pancakes!
Homemade Butter Process
I once made butter in elementary school, shaking a jar of cream that we passed around the classroom. Once it started to sound thumpy in the jar instead of splashy, our teacher took over and gave us all slices of bread with a smear of our butter.
Lucky to be a grown up now, you can use your stand mixer to whip this up instead of shaking a jar for 10 minutes. This method lets you witness an interesting set of transformations in your cream:
- it quickly moves to whipped cream, then breaks (always a good process to do on purpose instead of accident!) down slightly,
- a couple minutes later it breaks again looking like white curds in liquid… but you’re not there yet.
- The final breakdown of the cream will sound splashy in your mixer bowl, and look distinctly different from the previous breakdowns. This final time, the curds will be slightly golden in color, and will be clumping readily on your beater in a sea of the most luscious buttermilk you’ve ever tasted.
Remove the butter chunks to cheesecloth, and squeeze out the remaining buttermilk. Hey- look what you’ve got in your hands… it’s butter!
The remove every last bit of buttermilk, add the butter back to your mixing bowl with a cup of cold water. Beat together and again strain the butter from the liquid. Repeat until the liquid rinsed from the butter is clear.
How to store your fresh butter: topped with water
To keep your butter the freshest tasting, its going to be best served in an oxygen free environment.
I accomplish this by pressing walnut sized pieces of the fresh butter into a 1 cup sized wide mouthed glass mason jar. Press in the butter pieces so that there is no air trapped in the bottom of the jar, or around the butter.
If you choose to salt your butter, this would be a good time to massage your chosen salt into each butter piece, or butter layer.
When all the butter is smoothed into your jar, top it off with cold water and screw on the lid. This water layer will aid in keeping your butter air free- thus preserving its fresh taste longer (this is kind of like a French Butter Bell). Pour off the water each time you use your butter and top it off with a new cool layer when done.
How much butter will you get?
The yield of butter from cream is rather straightforward. One pint of cream yields 1 cup of butter and one cup of buttermilk. One cup of butter is 2 sticks, which is half a pound.
This homemade butter will be the perfect match to warm cornbread, steaming buckwheat pancakes, homemade bran muffins, cinnamon laced french toast…
I think you get my drift. I don’t need to convince you that butter is good!
More hot links for homemade butter
- Splendid Table: my inspiration, Lynne’s homemade butter procedure.
- The Traveler’s Lunchbox: once you’ve gotten comfortable with your homemade butter, come join us over on the cultured butter side. You won’t regret it.
- Mahanandi: repeat after Indira- clarified butter is not ghee. Having homemade ghee in use by your stove will yield a new round of tastiness to your cooking.
- Accidental Hedonist: now that you’re a connoisseur of all things butter, consider Kate’s post of types of butter a checklist to work through.
- Chocolate and Zucchini: don’t forget this special treat! So its not made with cream, its still a butter. Get carried away with Clotilde’s recipe for making Beurre de Cajou (that’s cashew butter, but it sounds better Clotilde’s way).