Homemade Butter

February 23, 2012

Homemade Butter

Back when I was in third grade, our teacher had us make homemade butter. She gave us each a small jar of cream that we had to shake with vigor until the contents finally separated into butter and buttermilk. As you can imagine, the task was tedious for our impatient little arms, but our teacher went around the class and helped until every one of us had achieved butter status.

I remember being super excited about making the butter, and learning how it was done. And I was even more excited because our teacher let us take our jars home with us to taste. In hindsight, she probably should have mentioned that a little salt goes a long way, but I was still quite proud of my homemade butter.

Homemade Butter

So last week, being in somewhat of an experimental mood, I decided to whip up another batch of homemade butter. This time, instead of shaking the cream in a jar (still tedious!), I brought out my stand mixer with the wire whip attachment. Once the heavy whipping cream had separated, I poured the buttermilk out into a separate jar to which I added a glug of cultured buttermilk that we already had in the refrigerator. After a day or two, I used it to make homemade ranch dressing.

As for the butter, I rinsed it in cold water to squeeze out every last bit of the buttermilk, and divided it into two equal portions. In the first portion, I added a pinch of salt and raspberry jam. To the second portion, I added honey, blueberries, and salt - all to taste. Then I pressed the butter into two small glass containers, which I covered and stored in the refrigerator.

I've been spreading this stuff over toast all week for breakfast, and it's really, really good! It's buttery, of course, with a slightly sweet and fruity taste that's perfect. I'm particularly fond of the butter and honey mixture. It'd be delicious over waffles and pancakes, or spread over biscuits.

Next time I make homemade butter (and there will be a next time), I'll mix one half of it with sweet ingredients, like fruit preserves or honey. For the other half, I'd like to try a concoction of herbs and garlic; something that would taste delicious melted over fish or eggs.

11 comments:

  1. Great post!! I remember my great grandmother giving me a mason jar to do the same...It seems like it took forever, but in the end I was proud like you were. - I would never have thought that the stand mixer could whip it up..I want to try it. How much cream did you use and about how long does it take to get to the buttermilk pouring off part of it? Also, do you have any other hints to make it a success? - Thanks for the fun post! xo

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  2. I used about 1 quart of heavy whipping cream. I think it'd take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, and you'd definitely know when it was ready 'cause the buttermilk sloshes around and makes a huge mess if you're not there to turn it off. Still, you want to let the machine run for as long as you can stand it because it forces more buttermilk out.

    A couple tips: rinse the butter really well with COLD water to get as much of the buttermilk off as you can. This will help keep it from going rancid too quickly. And save the buttermilk to use with other recipes. It's tasty stuff. :)

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  3. We used to do this all the time--it's so yummy! You should definitely try it with more savory flavorings--a little bit of rosemary and salt is my favorite.

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  4. As a teacher who is going to teach a group of home schoolers how to make cheese, the idea of shaking mason jars full of cream to make butter sounds like it'd be a fantastic component...I wonder how long it would take...hm. Must experiment!

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  5. When I make butter, I usually let the cream come to room temperature (or culture it with buttermilk to make creme fraiche and then cultured butter) I find that once the cream is at room temperature it takes less than 5 minutes of shaking in a jar and isn't tedious at all. Of course the stand mixer is a great idea, too!

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  6. I remember making butter in school too! We had a 'Pioneer Day' where they set up stations in the school gymnasium with pioneer activities like shaving (minus the razor/knife), making butter of course, drip candles, and making arrowheads I think? It was a lot of fun and of course my mom made my sister and I Little House on the Prairie outfits :)

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  7. I love flavoured butters, but have never thought about making the actual butter part myself.

    Something to add to the list :)

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  8. this post made me hungry! i helped my daughters brownie troop make butter~ they were so proud of themselves~
    great pics too!

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  9. Oh the photos are enough to make me want to make! Delicious!

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  10. I love the idea of making ranch dressing with the excess parts of the process- I'd love to know what ingredients you add to yours! I ADORE the butter and honey combo! I've never made butter before, yours looks AWEsome

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  11. tastes so much better in effet, and yours is so pretty!

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