Back to work you lot! How to make Butter at Home!

After all the Christmas palavalava,  I thought you might be ready for something simple and old fashioned. Nothing is simpler to make than butter. There is only one ingredient… CREAM! (And a touch of salt at the end if you want it to keep a bit longer.)

Butter – my favourite! My cream came straight from the cow. Yours can come from the supermarket. Try to avoid anything that says Ultra Pasteurised.   You want Heavy cream, Whipping cream or Double cream or just plain CREAM.  Depends which country you are living in.

Bring your cream up to room temperature first. This is important.

You can make butter in your Kitchen Aid or Food processor. I have done both with success,  the only thing to watch for in the Mixer is that when the butter coagulates, the left over Buttermilk will fly all over your kitchen walls.  So pay attention.  The Food Processer works very well too, however do not overfill.  Small amounts at a time. I will use my new Butter Churn.  Here are the blades hanging to dry.

You can also make butter by half filling a jar with the cream. Put a tight lid on it and give it to someone else to shake. Some shakers add a marble to help beat it up!  Kids in Kitchens love this!

You need to beat that cream until it begins to seperate, then beat a wee bit more. Here are the stages to watch out for. 

Whipped cream. Keep beating or shaking.  Get your finger out of there!

Not quite.

There. You can see that the butter is very seperate from the buttermilk. Now, strain through a cheese cloth. Keep the buttermilk for pancakesWrap the butter in the cheese cloth and wring it out, then while it is still in your cheesecloth rinse it in  icy cold water, wringing it out as you go.  

Empty the butter into a small bowl, add a little running  ice cold water and work with a fork, then pour the liquid out.   Do this a few times. You are separating the butter from the liquid. The water helps you wash it out. This is why the water needs to be icy cold. If you want the butter to keep for more than a few days make sure you wash all the whey out of the butter. Add a few pinches of salt or none if you choose.  (Though the salt also increases it’s shelf life.)   Refrigerate.

Make sure you have a little freshly baked, home made bread  and Voila!

This is  a great way to introduce kids to fresh food and fun in the kitchen.  They do especially like the shaking method, they just pass the jar on when their arms get tired!

Simple is good.

I will wish you Happy New Year tomorrow!  We are not quite finished with this year yet. One more 2011 Farmy Day! Daisy is writing her New Years Resolutions.  Hmm.


95 Comments on “Back to work you lot! How to make Butter at Home!

  1. Fantastic!! I can’t wait to try this. Probably next week after Peder returns to work, and I have my normal routine back again. Thanks so much for posting this! I’m adding double cream to my grocery list … because you see, I live in a city where we’re not allowed a cow or two, or a chicken or three, and roosters are just flat out forbidden because they’re too noisy, which seems odd because the kid next door has a drum set that rattles my brain hour after hour.

    • Ms Misk, it behooves us to get you a rooster you can train it to sit in the boys bedroom window every morning!! I look forard to seeing how your butter works out. It was because of your comment the other day that I posted this you know!! c

      • Double cream is sitting in the fridge. This is going to be fun. Mr Misk is extremely dubious on this one. As Thomas Paine wishes he’d said, “These are the times that test a man’s butter…”

          • Knock.knock. Hello? Okay, I’ve made my butter, it’s bloomin’ delish, just ate some on rolls fresh out of the oven. Question, if I may … Can I freeze some of it because I kinda made a lot. LOL!

  2. Happy New Year, Celi! Your butter looks beautiful! We make ours in the electric mixer with a whisk attachment, and we find that slightly soured cream (a couple of weeks past its expiry date) gives the butter loads more flavour. Pete shapes ours with two wooden paddles normally used for gnocchi, and’re right about it going everywhere, we usually end up with a fine slick of grease all over the kitchen.. 🙂

    • Hi Mad, I make butter every week, but I think it could be fun for others to do if they are making a special cake or pastry! c

  3. Great. We didn’t have mixers or processors during the war, and even the kids (me) get tired of the shaking after about 7 years of rationing. Your pictures are brilliant.

    • Mercy, SEVEN years of rationing.. NZ had a rough time too but almost every family had rural connections and chickens in the yards, a much smaller population and no BOMBS!. thanks Viv.. c

    • It is a lovely delicate taste plus the diet of the cow comes through, for example in the spring when there is lots of grass the butter is deep yellow, so much richer. There is no grass now so the butter is much paler and has that delicate taste. c

  4. How awesome! Freshly made butter on freshly made bread. It just doesn’t get any better than that. One of my fondest memories when I was little was shaking a mason jar at school and then passing it on to my next classmate, until the cream turned to butter. What fun that was! Then we spread it on some bread. Yum!

  5. Enjoyed! Thank you Cecil…. (I did spread it around a bit as well for others to savor (and learn from). 🙂

  6. Wow, I didn’t know making butter was that easy…but of course you have to have the great cream to start. Thank you for the lesson and I’m still hoping for one on how to make Parmesan cheese next year! Happy New Year!

  7. Wow – I love this! We only get nasty tetrapack cream but I have just checked the labels and the whipping cream doesn´t have anything added but I forgot to check “how pasteurised” it is. We are already working on a Heath Robinson type device which involves my granny´s old hand whisk which looks very much like your butter churner blades and a large jar and lid. Am very excited but hope I don´t end up in Malaga hospital with some horrible butter churning inflicted injury 😉 Brilliant post Celi!

    • I have made this with pasteurised cream.. just give it a crack.. Nothing Ventured nothing Gained.. If you get an injury let me know.. The Bad Baby (sopsta) hit Barcelona today so she will come out to the hospital and hold your hand and say .. Never mind Tanya, my mama always forgets the Downsides! then she will say .. any good Bars out here?.. like mother like daughter.. c

  8. Love how you casually throw in…”Make sure you have a little freshly baked, home made bread.”

    You said this was going to be simple!! 😀

    Looks yummy. My banana bread would have loved it.

  9. So lucky you can make butter with cream straight from the cow! I have to make do with the stuff that’s in the bottle, but I do love making some homemade butter… though the first time I did it I didn’t have an electric mixer or a food processor, and made it with a whisk… thought my arm was going to fall off! I like the idea of shaking it up in a jar, too, though. Hope you have a happy New Year!

    • Oh i know about the whisk. i used to whip cream with a whisk in the old days!, Awful.. welcome millie.. lovely to see you.. c

    • oo i think i have one of those in the basement, i will get it up and send you a photo. BUT where is yours then?.. c

  10. I never knew until I read this post how butter was made or that it could be made in a blender or food processor. I bet it tastes one hundred times better than the mass produced packs found in supermarkets.

  11. I have already told my husband how you make fresh baked bread each day. When I wake up every morning, my husband asks how I sleep. If I say that I woke up at 2 A.M. and couldn’t go back to sleep, he says that he doesn’t smell bread baking. Now he will also ask if I churned some fresh butter.

  12. I once made butter, back when I was a teenager and my mum was in her gentle-lady farmer phase. The food processor part we had down. It was the rinsing, straining and salting that went poorly. You can imagine the result. To this day I just can’t handle the smell of melted butter. Maybe I need to reacquaint myself with friendly cows….

    • you could make butter with your kids (when they all reconvene).. and tell your mum.. i am WITH her on her gentle lady farmer phase.. send her out here.. we will be just fine!.. c

  13. Last time we made it (while sitting around a campfire, as I’m sure you recall), we overfilled the jar. And by “we” I mean someone other than me. 😉 The kids shook, and shook, and shook, and it was still just cream. I finally poured some of the cream back into the carton and we tried it again. In no time at all, we had our butter. Mmmm…

  14. You make it sound so easy I’m tempted to try it, but I’d wind up with something that tastes and looks like modeling clay. I just know it. Instead, I’ll live vicariously through your pictures.

  15. Great “how-to” post Celi. As I once mentioned, I make my own and rely less and less on store-bought butter. And the walls around my stand mixer are getting a nice, shabby chic look & feel from all of the sprayed buttermilk.

  16. How fun! I just got a Kitchen Aid for Christmas so I can’t wait to start making all kinds of fun things, including butter!

  17. It has been *(unnamed number of years)* since I made homemade butter, but I remember thinking the shaking method was so easy it was surprising we didn’t do it all the time. And then of course we never did it again. Ahem! Okay, go ahead and give me a big ol’ kick in the pants. Is it whining if I argue that I’ve found a really gorgeous, delicious, dessert-all-on-its-own organic, pastured butter available ready-made?

    • I agree completely.. if you can get butter that good without breaking the bank then don’t even think about making your own.. Lucky you too!! c

  18. Oh my.. this is like the mecca of food post.. Homemade Butter! Yes, I would love to make some homemade butter and slather it on just about everything. Absolutely :). I hope you have a great New Year

  19. This is brilliant, except cream is impossible to find in France, unless you are a farmer which I’m not. We have the most wonderful butter here, but cream is as rare as hens’ teeth – in fact it would be easier to make hens’ teeth necklaces than 1/2 lb of butter! Have a great New Year.

    • How interesting that you cannot buy cream there, what do they do with their cream?, though if you can buy good butter then why bother to make your own. The butter in england was good stuff too, it is a lot like NZ butter.. c

    • Daisy has been hard at work Getting fat lately, so i am hoping that she will cooperate and do something inspiring! c

  20. I just LOOOOVE the photos! (How’d you know I’d be trying to sneak a finger full of whipped cream?)
    I remember doing the ‘shake-butter’ with my kids…they thought it was so much fun!

  21. I will definitely be trying this butter recipe!!! Thanks so much! And My John makes the most fabulous homemade bread! My only worry about it is putting on the pounds!!! Have a fabulous New Year Cecilia!!! Sure hope we see you and Our John on our farm in the new year!!! xoxoxo

    • I truly believe that if you eat some good food and run around the farm all day after all those animals you have you won’t put on the pounds.. it is when you eat TOO MUCH that you put on the pounds.. Have a great big New Year,, I will find you sometime in 2012 .. i really hope so.. c

  22. Ooh another gorgeous bowl C!
    Loved reading about making butter – I would never have thought to bring the cream to room temperature first though.
    Have a fantastic 2012!
    🙂 Mandy

    • The room temp tip is from the old people, and it seems to me I get more butter when I follow that rule..thanks mandy.. c

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  25. I remember over beating the whipping cream as a child, resulting in butter! I haven’t made it intentionally in years, but may have to do the math on it. Butter is generally quite expensive in Canada, often costing cost to $7.00 for a pound. How much cream did you use and how much butter does that make?

    • Seven dollars a pound. Oh dear. I will make butter again soon and measure it and get back to you. I usually just use whatever I have saved. It depends on the milking how much cream/butter I get. At the moment the cow whose milk I use is not making a lot of cream so I am not making a lot of butter. When I start milking Daisy in May she will be on good pasture and her milk will be creamier I hope! Lovely to see you Eva! c

  26. I just returned from Denmark, where they’ve slapped a Fat Tax on butter, thereby making it so expensive that a lot of people can’t afford to buy it anymore. So now they buy that weird-plastic-chemical-margarine stuff instead, which is about 1/4 the price of butter.

    • And then they all wonder why there is a rise in autism and diabetes! Butter is not bad! Why would they do that?.. Who has decided that chemicals are better for the body that pure food! so sad.. so sad.. butter is very expensive in NZ too.. c

      • It’s not just butter. It’s also milk, cream, cheese, sausages, crisps, chips, beef, bacon, sweets, cakes, biccies, sugary drinks (and Coke, etc) etc., etc., …. anything high in saturated fat or sugar now has a new tax levied on it to make people think twice about whether its price is worth the cost. Is it a bad thing? I admit to having mixed feelings about it, Celi, particularly when I see toddlers with their little hands and faces sticky with sugar.

        • In that case it is probably a sensible tax if it is also hitting the plastic foods, like taxing cigarettes and alcohol, but how did milk and cheese and beef get mixed up with sweets, coke, sugary drinks and crisps and the like. Surely one lot are real old fashioned foods and another lot contain chemical created pretend foods designed since the 50’s .. What are these people eating? presumably the vegetables are safe? We need to find out who are the lobbies behind these taxes. there is always money involved.. c

          • The Danes are eating what they’ve always eaten (very healthy!), and they bicycle everywhere just as they’ve always done. This is Denmark; this is about tax and revenue, not lobbies, not corporations. Most Danes suspect that diary and beef and processed meat products were included to inch up revenue … although good Danish cheese has a fat% content of between 35-53%, and it’s often eaten daily. Give it a few years, and I suspect that most of Europe will have a similar tax – it’s a great revenue churner. Pun intended. 😉

            • All about the money then.. (sigh) .. good to have this conversation with you misky, i learnt stuff, i love to learn stuff! but sometimes it is sad to know it.. if only people could grow their own food.. c

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