Wednesday, July 25

Freshly Made Butter

This is perhaps the easiest recipe I could post, but it is so simple and miraculous and delicious that you will no doubt make it again and again. Just dump plenty of heavy cream into a mixer or food processor and beat until the butter and the "butter milk" begin to separate. Or you could do what we did as kids - shake the cream in a well sealed mason jar until it is transformed.

I was inspired to make this after finding a story about homemade butter in the New York Times a few weeks ago. It instantly transported me to early childhood and as I started up the food processor, I was already in the living room of our our family friends, the kids taking turns shaking the butter jar while the grown-ups sang old folk and blues tunes to the banjo and the tambourine. Yes, this really did happen, and by that time the 70s may already have passed. At any rate, I can see no reason to ever purchase butter again.

Make plenty. You can fold the extra in parchment paper or plastic wrap and store it in sealed bags in the freezer. You'll use it.

-- Fresh Butter

*4-8 cups heavy whipping cream
* salt

1. Whip or shake the cream until the butter and the "butter milk" separate.

2. Strain everything through a cheesecloth, reserving the liquid, and kneed the butter until the excess moisture is removed and the butter is dense and creamy. If desired, add a little good salt to taste.


Will said...

Hi Rose,

There are two additional options that I think readers should be aware of. The first is that you will get a more flavorful (and pro-biotic) butter if you culture the cream before churning. Add a few tablespoons (50 mL) of store-bought cultured yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, clabbered cream, or creme fraiche, and let sit about 12 hours at warm room temperature (75°F/24°C is ideal) to thicken and ferment before churning. It should taste delicious, slightly sour, with no aftertaste. If it is bubbly, or smells yeasty or gassy, discard.

The second step is "washing the butter". After the butter forms, add ice water and continue beating, drain and repeat until wash water stays clear. This process will ensure that your product stores well, and does not go rancid.

deeeeeeena said...

I never knew it was this easy. I need to try this! How long will it keep?

Jonathan said...

My mom still brags about making butter as a kid (they shook it in a mason jar). This was a weekly thing.

I am so making some butter this weekend (despite what my wife thinks). Whoo hoo!

Rose said...

Hi Dina,
I think the washing technique Will suggests would prolong the life a lot, but mine lasts about a week on the counter top, two or more in the refrigerator. Truth be told, butter never lasts long in our house - I tend to bake with it within a few weeks!

Valerie said...

how long would you have to mix it for in a mixer?

Rose said...

Hi Valerie,
It takes about 5 minutes for me - just keep it going until the cream starts to get lumpy and "breaks" or separates form the liquid. Then beat for another minute or so. It will look a bit like curdled milk, but you'll be able to press the bits together. It helps to "wash" it with a few batches of ice cold water during the kneading so that it doesn't get too soft.