Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homemade Butter

I try to buy organic dairy goods when I can but the price on organic butter is really high so I started thinking about making my own. I found a great cookbook titled The Home Creamery which has recipes for all kinds of dairy items you can make at home. I've been playing with making all of the items in the book. So back to my quest of serving organic dairy goods and I've discovered that our local grocery store marks down organic heavy whipping cream Sunday nights to between 25 cents and $1 which makes for some really cheap organic dairy items. Yes this means I have to use the whipping cream right away but for organic butter, buttermilk, sour cream, ricotta cheese, and others its a steal of a deal. Homemade butter is the first of these items I've made that I'm featuring here. It's really easy to make and honestly now I have a hard time using store bought butter.

Homemade Butter
The Home Creamery

4 cups (2 pints) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt

For best results your cream should be about 60 degrees F when you begin. If it's too warm, your butter will be soft and won't keep well; if it's too cold, your butter will never form.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle, process the cream until it turns to fine, solid pieces. It will go through several processes to get to this point, from frothy to soft whipped cream to coarse whipped cream to solid bits, and the color will change from off white to pale yellow. This can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.

Let the butter stand about 5 minutes. The liquid, called buttermilk, will separate from the butter during this time. Set a fine meshed sieve over a medium bowl. Scrape the butter mixture into the strainer and let the buttermilk strain. Strain the buttermilk again through a fine meshed sieve and save for another use if desired.

Transfer the butter to a colander and knead it with a wooden spoon, potato masher, or two forks to remove excess water and blend granules. Pour off the water occasionally, and continue kneading until most of the water has been removed and the butter becomes firmer. This will take about 10 minutes. Mix in salt; this will help retard spoilage as well as add flavor. Keep working until the butter is dense and creamy and all liquid has been worked out, about 10 minutes.

You can form the butter into any shape you wish at this stage: You can make it a simple block or press it into ramekins or molds. When your done wrap the butter in wax paper and keep it in the refrigerator.

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  1. Wow! That's absolutely amazing and very tempting to try!

  2. How much butter do you usually get from 4 cups of cream?

  3. Michelle I'd say at least 2 lbs. I haven't actually weighed how much butter I get in weeks since I seldom use the recipe anymore. It's become second hand to make the butter so I just whip up whatever amount of cream I have and call it good. I can say that the whipping cream from Costco, not sure on the size, probably made at least 5 lbs of butter. I just measured what I have left and it weighed in at just under 4 lbs and I've given butter away for others to try.

  4. Thanks. I just realized a few weeks ago that the Costco cream is RBST free, and since I can't usually afford the organic cream, it's been my compromise. That really turns out to be a great price then, too. I believe the Costco one is a half gallon, and I think it was only about $5.


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