How to make butter and buttermilk
I had a reader ask me a couple of weeks ago about where I get my raw butter. Sadly, I don’t have access to raw butter unless I make it myself. Luckily, it’s really easy to make your own butter. And what’s even cooler is that when you make butter you automatically make buttermilk, too. Then you get to make yummy things like buttermilk pancakes, buttermilk biscuits, buttermilk… you get the idea.
So in other words: Homemade butter and buttermilk is awesome.
How to make butter and buttermilk
First you need some cream. And if you have it on hand I’d also recommend ice water. Maybe some salt. That’s it. Unlike “buttery” spreads and other margarine junk food, butter is a simple food made from a simple ingredient that’s easy to pronounce… unless you are a dog. (Although if your dog can say “butter” please send me a video!)
If you want raw butter, you obviously need raw cream. Because I love you guys SO MUCH I let my raw milk sit for a day or two so I could show you how to make butter. It was a sacrifice, but you’re worth it.
If you’ve never skimmed cream from milk it’s easy:
Step 1: Let milk sit a couple of days until the milk and cream separate.
Step 2: Using a method of your choosing, collect that white golden goodness from the top.
I like to use a baster to suck up my cream. Just be careful not to dip it in too far or you will start collecting milk, too. Just let is barely touch the surface.
Of course, you can always just use store bought cream to make your own butter, too…
Now that you have cream
There are a number of methods you can find online to make butter. I’ve made butter in both my blender and food processor. Both work well. If you have a lot of cream, you’ll probably want a larger tool like the food processor. You could also just use your own “horse” power and put your cream in a jar with a tight lid and shake it until your arms fall off. Your choice.
Recipe: Homemade Butter and Buttermilk
Cream (any amount, but the more you have the more butter you get)
Ice water (optional, but it does help preserve the butter longer)
Salt (optional, but again, helps the butter “keep” longer)
1. Place cream in your blender or food processor. Making sure the lid is tight, start blending on high for 5 – 10 minutes. Ultimately you are taking your cream well beyond the “whipped cream” phase into an almost curdled phase.
2. Once your cream is well curdled and you see the fat start to separate from the milk, let it rest for a couple of minutes.
3. Pour the contents of the blender/processor into a cheesecloth (I’ve used a flour cloth, too). Squeeze out all the liquid into a bowl. Congratulations! That is your buttermilk!
4. Dump the butter that is left in the cheesecloth back into the food processor and pour some ice water over the butter. You don’t need a lot, just enough to help “rinse” the butter from any remaining buttermilk. This is technically an “optional” step but it will help your butter last longer.
5. Pulse your blender/processor a couple of times.
7. Pour contents back into cheesecloth. Squeeze out (and discard) remaining water. Congratulations! What’s left in your cheesecloth is butter. Feel free to add some sea salt or other herbs to make salted butter, herb butter, etc.
8. Pat yourself on the back. You are officially old school.
As you can tell from my pictures, I didn’t make a lot of butter. That’s because I didn’t have a lot of cream on hand. And in all honesty, it feels like a lot of work for very little butter. Besides, I have a hard time letting my raw milk sit that long! So I only make butter when I want to get some brownie points for my “Home on the Prairie” reality game show. Or when I want to impress people. Or when I really want some really awesome raw butter.
Because it is awesome. Make no mistake about that.
Have you made your own butter? What’s your favorite way to do it?