A number of years ago, my husband and I took a ‘Fresh Cheese’ course at Sur la Table. The class went beyond just learning how to make fresh ricotta and mozzarella, we learned how to make homemade butter too! Quick and simple, you’ll wonder why you ever bought butter at the store. Seriously, you can make your own butter in about 10 minutes! If that’s not enough to push you in the direction of making your own butter, consider this – it’s less expensive to make homemade butter! Even with a 40% yield of butter and 60% yield of buttermilk, the butter that remains is still cheaper than the equivalent weight you would purchase at the store.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the bi-product from making butter is buttermilk?! Nothing is wasted in the process – how cool is that?! Some great recipes to put that buttermilk to use are: Buttermilk Biscuits, Fried Green Tomatoes, or Oven Baked Chicken Tenders with Panko Crust.
If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you that you need to be making your own butter, think of how impressed your guests will be when you tell them the delicious, creamy butter they’re enjoying on their dinner roll, was homemade! And if you really want to get them going, don’t tell them how incredibly easy it was to make – let them think you spent the day churning butter.
- Prepare a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl.
- Place the cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. (If you do not have a food processor, you can use a standing or hand mixer - though this will take a little longer). Process the cream until the butterfat separates from the buttermilk - it will begin to look a little mealy. At this point, the buttermilk will begin to splash up, so make sure the pour insert is closed up.
- Scoop the butter into the cheesecloth-lined bowl and allow to drain for several minutes. (Don't throw the liquid away - that's buttermilk! Save it for another use).
- Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together and squeeze, pushing downward to remove as much buttermilk as possible.
- Unwrap the butter from the cheesecloth and place in a large, clean bowl. Fill with ½ a cup of ice water and begin to knead the butter (hands may be easiest). The water will turn cloudy with the excess buttermilk. Empty and refill the bowl with ice water, ½ a cup at time until the water runs nearly clear. (The butter will last longer if all buttermilk is removed).
- Place the butter into a dry bowl and carefully smear the butter repeatedly against the side of the bowl using your hands or a large wooden spoon. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and continue to work the butter until the salt is evenly distributed. Poor off any accumulation of buttermilk that releases as needed.
- Transfer the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into your desired shape. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- If you would like to add herbs de Provence, place the herbs on a plate and roll the butter to coat. Alternatively, you may sprinkle the top of the butter with the sea salt or fleur de sel.