Sep 20, 2008

Easy Butter

One of my best kept kitchen secrets. Well, obviously up until now. Do you know how ridiculously easy it is to make your own butter?

Not saying I bought a cow, tied a red bandana around my head and got up in the wee hours of the morning to milk the animal and churn the butter. No, no, no. Even I have my limits. But really, all you need to quickly whip up a genuine, fantastic home-made butter is heavy cream and a food processor. That’s it.

I don’t use butter in large quantities -never have and never will- but even I can’t pass up a warm, toasty piece of bread smeared with a little bit of heaven.

The flavor is so light, delicate and fresh (so unlike anything store bought) I promise you’ll be hooked after just one bite. It’s quite an experience. When serving this at get-togethers I’m constantly asked where on earth I buy my butter. I just mumble some vague non-existing company name, throw in a charming smile, take another bite and keep them guessing. That’s the fun part!


2 cups heavy cream

Optional flavors:

red chili pepper
spring onion


Pour 2 cups of heavy cream in your food processor. The fresher the cream, the better the butter will turn out.

Pop the lid on, blitz, sit back and watch the show. It’s quite entertaining, really, but then again, I’m easily amused.

The cream will go through different stages. Left you see it turning into a soft, silky whipped cream. A little later it’s turning into a really firm cream. In the photo on the right you can tell where we’re slowly heading towards, the structure and color is changing.

Then all of a sudden it happens. You hear a ‘slosh‘ (can you tell I’m all excited? I just have no life) and the grainy, yellow butter has separated itself from, what is now, nothing but buttermilk. This is what we wanted! Eureka!

All that’s left to do is drain the buttermilk—use it for pancakes or something—and there you have it. Butter. If you are going to use it all up, you’re good to go now.

If you want to keep the butter longer, you’ll have to rinse the butter curds with cold water until the water that comes off stays clean.

Press it down with a spoon and stir it to get the excess liquid out. Told you it was easy!

While the butter is draining I grated the garlic, chopped the chives, spring onions and chili pepper. When it comes to flavored butters, the sky is the limit in my kitchen. I often go crazy. You can literally add any herb you like, spike it with lime or orange zest, add some ginger, a pinch of ground cumin. Anything goes. Just play around with ingredients a bit; you can’t go wrong.

Once the butter has drained, transfer it to a bowl, add your chopped ingredients, a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything up. I just love how this looks, I really do. You make it, so you know exactly what goes into it. No artificial ingredients, no E-G-Z numbers whatsoever. Pure food.

Get yourself some crunchy bread, slice it, spread some of this delicious butter on top and get hooked!

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    1. 1

      Mmmmm … it looks fantastic! Your photos are so vivid. I am for sure going to try several of the recipes.

      mommyknows on Sep 21, 2008 @ 8:24 am Reply
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      I was HOWLING when I saw this post (which I love, by the way) because making butter is a lesson that I learned very long ago….the first time that I whipped cream, as a matter of fact. Mind you, if every lesson that I’m taught through crushing failure is as tasty as butter……

      Tina on Sep 22, 2008 @ 8:36 pm Reply
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      Had to laugh so hard when I read this. When I was younger my mom always told me to be careful while whipping cream or I’d turn it into butter.

      It took me years to figure out she wasn’t pulling my leg but was serious. If only I had known back then, when I could’ve eaten what I wanted and never gained any weight :)

      Kay on Sep 22, 2008 @ 10:17 pm Reply
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      Oh my!! I never though to make butter, and its so easy! Love your blog!

      Jenna on Sep 22, 2008 @ 11:04 pm Reply
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      I’ve made it in the blender, but never thought to make it in my food processor!!Thanks for the tip. I get 2-3 gallons of raw milk each weak and pour off the cream. I save it for my coffee and only sometimes make whipped cream or put it in sauce. I always felt making butter was too messy, but this seems much easier! Dank je wel!

      Hannah on Sep 23, 2008 @ 12:17 am Reply
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      We have a raw milk share and make butter often from the cream. It is best to rinse the butter curds after you’ve drained the buttermilk. Tiny bits of buttermilk can get trapped in there and make it go rancid faster.

      All you have to do is pour off the buttermilk (which makes amazing pancakes & waffles!), run a little water in the container, pulse it one or two times, pour the water off, run some again, and then press all the bits together and drain. It will keep up to 3 days longer this way…

      I love your ideas for mix-ins!! Must try the chili pepper one now :)

      Sarah on Sep 23, 2008 @ 3:13 am Reply
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      Forgot to mention I always make such small quantities that it’s gone after one day! Thanks for adding it. I heard that using ice water works best?

      Kay on Sep 23, 2008 @ 7:41 am Reply
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      Can you add salt prior to starting the processor, or does this change the properties of the cream? It seems it would distribute the salt evenly, though you probably lose some savor when you pour off the buttermilk. I guess you could make a pretty good cornbread with salty buttermilk.

      I am anxious to try this out with my kids. I like the suggestion of using the buttermilk to make pancakes. I can imagine homemade pancakes topped with homemade butter. Yum!

      Greg on Sep 24, 2008 @ 4:39 pm Reply
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      I honestly don’t know. Guessing it’s possible, since you also add sugar to cream before whipping it. I’ve never done it, though, so you’d have to try it.

      Have to say I never have a problem distributing the salt evenly afterwards, I’d be scared it would end up way too salty if I add it prior to making the butter.

      Kay on Sep 24, 2008 @ 4:51 pm Reply
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      I’m definitely going to try this! Two questions:

      1. What speed to keep the food processor going?
      2. About how long is the process from start to finish?


      Stacey on Sep 25, 2008 @ 10:16 pm Reply
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      Full speed ahead! :)

      It’s only a few minutes, a minute or two (give or take a minute) longer than it takes to whip cream the regular way.

      Kay on Sep 25, 2008 @ 10:20 pm Reply
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      It’s a great recipe!!! I make butter at home and we add the following ingredients, they sound weird but the result is amazing. I thought you might like to try it one day. It’s more of a “spread” rather than butter but here goes:
      Put the following ingredients through a meat grinder on medium sized holes:
      -1 block of melted cheese (I use “La Vace qui Rit” but its up to you)
      – 1 fresh carrot grated on the largest grate holes
      – 2-3 preferably Flemmish or Dutch “maatjes” Herring filet
      Now that it’s done, put the whole thing into the grinder again. Refrigerate for a few hours, and serve on bread. We make this for New Year’s it’s a nice appetiser and goes well with many things, since it’s salty but mild enough.

      All the best to you!

      Sasha on Sep 26, 2008 @ 5:10 pm Reply
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      Thanks for the recipe, it sounds great. The men here are big on herring, so it should go over really well :)

      Kay on Sep 26, 2008 @ 5:22 pm Reply
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      Dear Kay!

      It’s my pleasure :)

      Sasha on Sep 26, 2008 @ 10:31 pm Reply
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      That looks absolutely delicious, and the perfect shots only helps convince me I need to start doing this myself! Thanks so much for sharing this!

      M. Pence on Sep 27, 2008 @ 2:34 am Reply
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      Great instructions. I love the pictures!

      Foodaholic on Sep 29, 2008 @ 3:56 pm Reply
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      I’ve made butter for years…..but I use my washing machine. Put the cream in the jar, make sure the lid is on tight. Then put 3 bath towels in the washer along with the jar and put the thing on spin! When cycle is done, drain, salt and add flavorings you want.

      Sharon Brudzinski on Sep 29, 2008 @ 9:23 pm Reply
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      I had to smile when I read that. I sure would love to see photos of that :)

      Kay on Sep 29, 2008 @ 9:25 pm Reply
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      I made the butter tonight, and it was heavenly and so super easy. I love it, I think I am spoiled forever now. One of my favorites is honey butter, so I am going to add a little honey and spread it on a nice piece of warm homemade bread, yummy!

      Oh and I am a dork also because I loved watching it turn from cream to butter!

      Jenna on Sep 30, 2008 @ 4:32 am Reply
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      I know! I’ll even sit on the kitchen counter and watch it turn into butter. It’s so pathetic :)

      Ohhh honey butter. I never even thought of that. That’s gonna be so good with a little fresh thyme and maybe some orange zest. Will try it, thanks for the idea.

      Kay on Sep 30, 2008 @ 7:01 am Reply
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      Beautiful photography!

      Peter on Oct 1, 2008 @ 10:23 am Reply
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      Looks so delicious. Love the photos.

      Kham on Oct 2, 2008 @ 11:48 pm Reply
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      Well, I can’t really say anything the others haven’t, just wanted to add my YUM!

      Julie on Oct 5, 2008 @ 4:57 pm Reply
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      Would this work just as well in a high quality mixer? I don’t have a food processor but would love to try this anyway!
      thanks, great idea.

      Nichole on Oct 5, 2008 @ 11:12 pm Reply
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      Nichole, absolutely. Doesn’t even have to be a high quality mixer. You could actually even do it by hand, simply put the cream in a storage container (with very tight lid) and start shaking until you hear the ‘slosh’ (it would take a while, though), so a mixer is going to work perfectly as well.

      Kay on Oct 5, 2008 @ 11:17 pm Reply
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