Butter is made by churning the cream and separating the fat from the buttermilk. It's most commonly made using cow's milk but sheep, buffalo or goat's milk can also be used. It has been around for thousands of years.
So, you may ask, 'why make butter at home when it's available in just about every store', well, because the taste and texture of fresh cultured butter is really not comparable to the storebought, this method produces a better, fresher tasting butter than most butters available in the supermarket.
There are several advantages to making butter at home using cultured cream but cost effectiveness is not one of them, unlike other homemade products, making butter at home doesn't cost less, it may even be slightly more expensive depending on the type of quality of cream used, but the results justify both the cost and effort.
Small appliances like a food processor, a blender, a hand mixer or stand mixer will significantly speed up the process but if you have neither of these gadgets, you can even make it in a mason jar or using a bowl and a large whisk.
I prefer using a stand mixer because I usually make a large batch and freeze some of the butter for later. As you whip the cream, first it looks like whipped cream, soft and later stiff peaks will form, within a minute after stiff peaks, the cream starts to look less fluffy, the colour changes, it looks more yellow than white, and the texture becomes grainy, after beating for a minute or so the butter forms around the beater and the buttermilk stays on the bottom of the bowl.
Pour the buttermilk into a clean jar, try to remove as much of the buttermilk as possible from the butter by squeezing it with clean hands or a rubber spatula, then add ice cold water into the mixer and mix for about 5 seconds, discard the water and repeat this step until the water is no longer cloudy, transfer the butter into a strainer lined with cheesecloth and remove as much water as possible.
Thoroughly rinsing the butter is extremely important because the milk solids go bad very quickly and the butter will have a bad taste just after a few days in the fridge. A properly washed butter lasts almost a week in the fridge.
If you are planning to add salt to your butter, this is the time to do it, I would recommend tasting it to adjust the salt.
Once the butter is ready to store in the fridge, it can be wrapped in parchment paper or in a bowl.
A quart of crème fraiche yields about 400 grams of butter, depending on the fat percentage of cream you use.
- 1 pint- 1quart creme fraiche
- Salt (optional)
Pour the cream into the bowl of a mixer, blender or food processor, whip until the cream separates, there will be solid pieces of butter and some buttermilk.
Strain the buttermilk, and wash the butter as described above to remove as much milk solids as possible.
Remove excess water by pressing the butter in a cheesecloth or strainer and store in the fridge.