February 19th, 2009

I love butter. This is mildy embarrasing to admit, but one of my earliest food memories is sneaking into the fridge and eating a chunk of butter back when I was about 3 years old. It makes me shiver a little now to think about eating a big old hunk of butter, but I think I was onto something way back when. I love the versatility of it. It’s used in so many recipes and can really take something to the next level.

When I saw a recipe in BUST magazine a while back I made a mental note to try it out. Unfortunately my notes up there are a little disorganized, so when I saw a recipe on the Kitchn on my day off, I figured it was time to try it out. It didn’t hurt that I had some cream in the fridge that needed to be used.

Making butter is pretty dang simple. You can keep it super simple and only use cream, but the recipe I followed used cream and sour cream plus a little salt. Apparently the sour cream adds a little tang to it. Initially, you just put the cream and sour cream in a food processor and let it run for a little bit. Once it gathers together and starts to form a ball you can remove it. An added bonus of making your own butter is getting fresh buttermilk. I got about 1/4 cup buttermilk from my 1 cup of cream. The next bit takes the most time, and that’s running it under water until it runs clear. I let water run over it for about 5 minutes or so. Once the water’s clear, press the butter and try to get all the moisture out. This takes a little work and can be tricky if you’re using paper towel, as it tends to stick. But it does the trick. I added a little salt the mixture and tada!

I decided since I don’t make butter everyday I’d get a little fancy and make some flavored butter. I divided the prepared butter in half and added some cinnamon to one half. Yum!

from the kitchn | makes about 1/2 cup

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Whir the cream and sour cream in a food processor for 3-5 minutes. (Alternately: shake energetically in a Mason jar for about 15-30 minutes.) After the cream becomes thick and clotted like whipped cream it will suddenly start spattering against the top again as it clumps into yellow butter. Whip until the butter has formed a solid yet grainy mass.
Put a small mesh strainer over a bowl and pour everything into it. Refrigerate the liquid; this is buttermilk and it will last for several days.
Put the butter in a small bowl and rinse under very cold water until the water runs clear. You want every bit of the buttermilk removed; any left clinging to the butter will cause it to get sour and bad overnight.
When the water runs completely clear squeeze the butter inside a clean paper towel or cheesecloth until dry, then turn out into a crock or small bowl.
Mash in the salt and cinnamon, if using.

Refrigerate and use within a week.

Comments: 19 Total

  1. Veggie Wedgie

    February 19, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Impressive! I had no clue how butter is made! Now I do! Thanks for the info.

  2. Hillary

    February 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Oooh cinnamon butter! Yummm. I didnt know how butter was made either so thanks for showing us.

  3. Elaine

    February 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Oh my, you made your own butter! I’ve always wanted to make my own and since you’ve got all the steps down – I’ll probably give it a go when I have the time. Good job!

    P.S. I found your site over at Tastespotting.

  4. Maya

    February 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    That cinnamon butter would be wonderful on toast! Do you think that it will keep longer if stored in the freezer?

  5. Whitney

    February 19, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    I bet the cinnamon butter is fantastic!

  6. Winter Owl Vann

    February 20, 2009 at 12:12 am

    We’ve done this for years! When I had a Jersey cow, we got 2 gallons of whole milk that was 15% cream. We used a small glass crank churn and had an old carved wooden butter press that removed the left over buttermilk easily.
    Then we used a quart Mason jar with the Cub and Girl Scouts, and even made fresh butter on campouts. Wonderful on pancakes, in mashed potatoes and bacon butties.

  7. The PurpleFoodie

    February 20, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I’m here for my dose of stunning food photography. Your food photos make me so happy!

  8. Whitney

    February 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I just stumbled onto your site and love it!

    I also have a pretty early memory of loving butter. I used to eat bread slice after bread slice plastered with butter..I’d never thought about making my own, but may give it a try.


  9. Mally

    February 21, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    nice. i saw that recipe in bust too, and i was waiting to see someone who used it sucessfully.

    also, you are not alone on the eating a hunk ‘o’ butter. i used do that too. but i don’t anymore…. *cough cough*.

  10. Gourmet Mama

    February 21, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    LOL! My 3 year old frequently gets into the butter, his idea of a great snack is to bite of a big chunk . . . maybe kids that age just need more fat?

    My mom used to make her own butter, in a gallon jar. She`d shake and roll it until it turned, but this method is a lot easier! I`d also like to mention that you can do this with an electric mixer, as well . . . as I discovered once while trying to make whipped cream and forgetting to stop. Ahem. :)

  11. miss amy

    February 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    haha. i remember getting really mad at the babysitter once because she refused to let me have a stick of butter as a snack. i also shudder a bit looking back on that memory…

  12. maggie

    February 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    good job with the butter directions, excellent. I enjoy experimenting with making-my-own. There should be a book called The Scientific Cook Book: food experiments.
    I’d include butter, cottage cheese, sour dough, maple syrup, soy milk, dog biscuits, candy canes, corn flakes, graham crackers, beer, and other things too numerous to mention, ( actually I can’t remember them all.)
    thanks for taking the time to post your butter pics.

  13. sarah

    February 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    my little sis used to eat sticks of butter off the dining room table from her high chair when no one was looking. kids know they need good fats for their brain development. and butter is yummy!

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  15. Richard

    November 21, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I am glad I found your page on making butter. It brings back old memorries in mixing fat and coloring in the rationing of WW2. I would’nt eat it. I used to take a little cream off a bottle of milk and save it until I had enough to make butter. I did it with no knowledge of the process. I did share it with my fammily. With a little salt it tasted better. I plan to make some more haome made butter.

  16. Richard

    April 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Homemade butter is to die for! Great site!

  17. links london

    April 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Homemade butter is to die for! Great site!

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