Yes, you read that correctly. I made butter. In my kitchen. Without churning it for hours. Butter. Why, you might ask, would someone bother to make their own butter? Um, I guess my answer would be, “because I wanted to try it.”
It was really easy and pretty quick. Just get some cream (but not the ultra-pasteurized kind), and whirl it in a food processor, blender, or kitchen-aid type mixer for awhile. The fat solids will separate off, drain those a little, and you have yourself a beautiful lightly pale yellow mound of butter. Oh, and the leftover liquid is buttermilk; it’s just not the same as the store-bought processed stuff because it isn’t tangy, but it’s nice and fresh tasting. Now you can make some buttermilk pancakes with homemade buttermilk, and spread some homemade butter on the top. Oh, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
The next thing after making the butter was to taste it. My husband and I did the taste test. He said, “yep, tastes just like store bought butter.” I, however, could tell a little bit of a difference; the butter was a little sweeter and a little fresher tasting. But, honestly, the slight flavor difference between store-bought and homemade wasn’t worth the extra work, the extra wear-and-tear on your equipment, and the time it took to find non-ultra-pasteurized cream. Oh well! At least I tried something new.
And, you know, I’m kind of glad it wasn’t fabulously better, because that would be another thing that I’d never be able to buy at the store again.
So, here’s the recipe, if you would like to try it. I’m glad I did. But, I won’t bother again. However, one thing I learned from this was that if you took some regular unsalted butter from the store and sprinkled some fleur de sel (special finishing salt) over the top, you’ll have a really tasty spread for some toast!
Makes 1 cup butter and 1 cup sweet buttermilk
1 pint whipping cream, not ultra-pasteurized
Place cream in the bowl of a food processor, blender, or kitchen-aid mixer. Blend until it separates into buttermilk and clumps of butter that look like fluffy scrambled eggs, then keep whirling until butter forms bigger clumps, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Set a fine strainer over a bowl. Pour milk and butter into strainer and let drain briefly. Squeeze butter with your hands to extract remaining milk.
Place butter in another bowl and sprinkle with salt to taste.
You could also make flavored butters by mixing in some herbs and spices while the butter is still soft – try garlic herb, Cajun, blue cheese and basil, pecan-lime butter, or any flavor combination you create. Or, try mixing your homemade chili powder into the butter. mmmm…