Making butter at home is a lost art. I know it’s so easy to just plunk down your 5 bucks at the grocery store for butter and be done with it, but that doesn’t come with the same satisfaction and pride in making something yourself. Plus, on top of having some top quality butter, you’ll be left with a couple cups of great buttermilk, which you can use to make me some crazy good pancakes or fried chicken.
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It’s really not that hard, or time consuming to make a batch of butter yourself. Truth be told, half the job is just sitting around doing nothing… which is probably what you were going to do with your free time anyways, right? Slackers.
The ingredient list is admittedly daunting….
- Whipping Cream (1L)
- See above.
Ok, so maybe you’ll add 1/2- 1 tsp of salt at the end if you want salted butter, but that’s it.
Before we get started, I must tell you that my inspiration for doing this in the first place was Stephanie, whose own blog post on the joys of butter making you can find at Clockwork Lemon. She used a food processor instead of the mixer that I’m using, but it seems to work about the same.
Start by pouring your room temperature cream into your mixer and attaching the whisk.
Turn the mixer on medium speed. You can go slower, but it’ll just take longer. Too fast and you’ll be splashing all over the place.
At this point not much is required of you. Take a seat, and let the mixer do all that labour for you.
You’re going to watch the cream go from the initial stage, and gradually get thicker. It’s going to get to whipped cream stage and you’ll be tempted to throw in some sugar and eat the entire bowl over the sink like a jilted cat-lady, but you must resist. You may however scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Continue beating the cream and quickly that whipped cream will start to coagulate and look more like curds.
At this point you might be thinking you’ve ruined it, but don’t panic. Just keep mixing. At this stage I’d recommend watching carefully or else this will happen…
Eventually all the butterfat will start to glob together and separate from the buttermilk. When that happens, stop the mixer and drain the buttermilk into a container.
At this stage you have your butter, but if you rinse it a few times with ice cold water to remove any remaining buttermilk it will last much longer. I tried mixing it again and splashing it with cold water, but that was a pain in the butt. I found just kneading it in ice water to rinse was an easier process. I think next time i’ll use the mixer, but put on the dough hook instead of the whisk for the rinsing process. Whatever method you want to use, the more buttermilk you rinse out the longer it’ll last.
The final step is to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. You can do this with cheesecloth, or j-cloths. This last batch, I just got my hands ice cold and squeezed with them, sans cheesecloth.
If you so desire, mix in a half tsp to a full tsp of salt.
The yield should be about a pound of butter.