Sunday, March 29, 2009

Homemade butter - 2 methods

I've been wanting to try my hand at this for awhile, and the other day at the farm store I remembered and grabbed a pint of cream. There are 2 modern methods of doing this (meaning no churn!), and we split the batch and tried both. Before starting I let the cream sit out for about 2 hours until it was room temperature for faster processing. I poured half the cream into a jar and the other half into the food processor (using the metal blade). I added 1/2 tsp of sea salt to the jar and started shaking. Shaking, shaking, shaking. I was warned on many of the sites I read that this can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Luckily it only took 5. This may be because Adam took over after 2 minutes and swears his "technique" is what sped the process along. Within a minute of shaking the sloshing of the cream went away, and I assume there was whipped cream in the jar. After a few more minutes Adam said all of a sudden it started sloshing again - this was the butter separating from the buttermilk. You could see in the jar a lump of butter in the midst of the buttermilk. We poured off the buttermilk and added very cold water and kept shaking, draining and repeating every 30-60 seconds 4-5 times until the water ran clear. This process washes the butter, and because the water is cold it doesn't wash away any of it. Basically, this is to ensure there is no buttermilk remaining, as remaining buttermilk will make the butter go rancid. I then took the butter out of the jar and squeezed it between two sheets of waxed paper - a final effort to remove any liquid from the butter, then shaped it into a stick, wrapped it in fresh waxed paper and voila! Butter! The food processor method produced butter in 2 minutes flat. I dumped off the buttermilk (see the buttermilk in the photos in the jar - we got about 4 oz of buttermilk from a pint of cream) and washed the butter a few times, then sprinkled in 1/2 tsp of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of honey and whipped it again. The product is pictured in the small bowl. This butter is lighter in texture due to the whipping of the food processor, and I think I like it a bit better. Maybe it's the honey. Both butter products smell very fresh and yummy. We used really fresh cream that was lightly pasteurized, so it had a different taste to us than store bought butter - more sour almost. I want to add herbs to the whipped butter next time. Yum. One tip we didn't try was to add a clean (obviously=) ) marble to the jar. It speeds the process a bit and when you stop hearing the marble, the butter is formed. A good idea when making butter with kids. I'm not sure if I saved any money making my own butter.... maybe if I by more cream and make bigger batches. It was fun and easy though!


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  2. Liking your new blog, Erin Begorra!
    The next time you're in Caribou we should dust off the ice cream and yogurt maker and crank out some of that too.