Okay. I know there’s a less than zero chance that anyone who reads this blog is ever going to make their own butter. I also already know that you think I’m totally crazy for doing it, too, so please don’t feel that you have to comment on that :-) Thank you very much. It was just one of those things I’d never done and I wanted to see if I could do it. You understand, right? And let me tell you something…you have never, ever tasted butter that tastes like this! Oh. My. Gracious. Goodness. It’s so much sweeter, so much butterier than any butter I’ve ever had. And it only took about ten minutes from start to finish. So, some weekend when you have nothing else to do, buy a quart of heavy cream and make yourself some real, true butter.
Here’s what you need:
1 to 1 ½ quarts heavy cream
1 tblsp salt (optional)
4-6 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
You need cream that is at least 30% butterfat, or heavy whipping cream. I couldn’t actually find the percentage of butterfat on any of the cream at my grocery store. Ripen the cream by letting it stand at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours. It will thicken and become mildly sour. This helps to give the butter a mild, good taste. Cool cream again in refrigerator for about an hour.
Pour cream into large electric mixer bowl. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired. I used six drops and that was too much. Probably four would have been just right.
Beat at high speed until flecks of butter begin to form. This will start to happen when it has past the “whipped cream” stage. Just keep watching and you’ll see it start to separate. Turn to low speed until butter separates from milk. Watch to keep the spattering to a minimum. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as the cream whips.
You’ll definitely know when it separates. All the butter will clump together and mass around the beaters.
When that has happened, then strain off the buttermilk. The buttermilk is what’s left when the butter separates out from the cream. Don’t throw that away, though! It’s great for making biscuits or pancakes, or anything that uses buttermilk.
Now, “wash” the butter either by hand under cold, running water or in the mixer. If washing by hand, gather the butter into a mass in your hands and “knead” it gently under running water until the water runs clear. You really have to get out all of the buttermilk that was caught in the butter. It will make your butter go bad much more quickly if you don’t. If using the mixer, place the butter back in the bowl and add cold water, about as much as there was buttermilk. Let beater run at lowest speed. Pour off water; repeat. Add a scant tablespoon of salt. Let beater mix it into butter. Remove beaters, scrape off butter with spatula and work out any remaining water with a spatula by pressing butter against side of bowl. Be sure to work out all of the water.
Mold butter in a butter press or empty it into a container with a tightly fitting lid. I put mine in a vintage 1950’s refrigerator box. I just somehow felt that the most appropriate container I had for storing homemade butter! The liquid in the jar is the buttermilk I strained out earlier.
Store in refrigerator. One quart cream makes about 1 pound butter, although it depends on how heavy the cream is.