Butter is easy to make! You can make regular sweet cream butter, or you can culture the cream to make cultured butter. Plus, you get the added benefit of fresh buttermilk when you’re done! It’s also a great way to use up leftover cream that’s been sitting in your fridge.
To make about 3-4 ounces of butter:
- 2 C heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
- 1/16 tsp Flora Danica mesophilic culture (optional, for cultured butter)
Wondering where to find cultures? Check out our resource section for making cheeses.
- food processor or blender or electric mixer or even just a jar with a tight-fitting lid
- A chilled bowl and spoon
How to make butter:
- Separate the cream. If you’re buying cream from the store, go for the heavy whipping type. If you’re skimming the cream from your own milk (you’ll need non-homogenized or cream-top milk to do this), chill your milk and then pour off the cream that forms at the top. If you want to be extra careful to get the highest percentage of cream as possible, you can pour this cream into a gravy separator, chill, and pour off any bottom layer of milk that got in there.
- Warm the cream. Take the cream out of your refrigerator for an hour or two to bring it up to about 50-55ᵒF (10-13ᵒC).
- Churn. Shake in a jar or use a food processor or blender. This will make whipped cream, but it will eventually turn into butter and buttermilk. When the butter starts to separate from the buttermilk, stop churning (don’t overchurn).
- Separate butter from buttermilk. Pour off the buttermilk that has formed, and reserve for baking (or enjoy as a beverage). Rinse the butter with cold water until it runs clear. Pour off the water and knead with a spoon to remove any additional water, preferably in a chilled bowl. If the butter starts to melt at this point, you can pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to make it easier to work with.
- Salt. If you wish to add salt, you may add a 1/4 tsp salt to the butter, or about 1% of the mass of butter and knead. Shape and chill and serve.
How to make cultured butter:
The process is the same for making cultured butter as it is for regular butter, except that before you churn the cream into butter, you will culture your cream first:
For pasteurized cream, follow the instructions for making crème fraiche, and use this cultured cream to make butter. Be sure to bring your cultured cream to about about 50-55ᵒF (10-13ᵒC) before churning.
For raw cream, the cultures are naturally present in the milk and cream. Just let your cream stand at room temperature for 24 hours to sour slightly, and then proceed with churning. Remember to to bring your cultured cream to about about 50-55ᵒF (10-13ᵒC) before churning.