Pantry Basics | Recipes

Homemade Butter

Written by Danielle Oteri

Apparently every woman that was once a Girl Scout remembers an activity where she put cream in a glass jar and vigorously shook it until it turned into butter.

Kelly green never being my color, I wasn’t a Girl Scout, nor did I know that making butter was such a simple process.

I assumed you needed a churn, a bonnet, perhaps a 19th century farmhouse.

How wonderful to learn that homemade butter can be made in a stand mixer!

For those of you who remember my stand mixer fire, I just received a new one in the mail after Kitchen Aid confirmed that, yes, the previous one was defective.

At this point, I’ve made pizza dough by hand a couple of times, so I wanted the inaugural stir to be something I would never do sans mixer.

Homemade Butter

Toss 2 cups of room temperature heavy cream into the bowl and start mixing it on speed 4 or 5. (I used organic cream from Ronnybrook Farm in the Hudson Valley.)

Within 4 or 5 minutes, the cream will start to solidify and you should lower the mixing speed to 2 or 3.

Give it another 2 minutes and your cream will start turning yellow. Butter!

Once the butter is yellow and solidified, the buttermilk will start to separate.

Buttermilk is a delicious sounding word, but it’s really just the grey butter juice that you’re going to have to knead out, lest your butter go rancid quickly.

Transfer your butter to a colander in the sink and use your hands to squeeze it until all the buttermilk has been pressed out.

Certainly, you should save it if you have a recipe on hand that calls for buttermilk, but I was a bit grossed out and let mine run down the drain.

In the end, you’ll have at least one full cup of butter!

I decided to make a bagna cauda butter (anchovy and garlic) to bring to my family’s Neapolitan Christmas Eve seafood dinner.

I spread the butter into ramekins, covered the top with a layer of sea salt, and cut little circles of parchment paper to seal them.

If you are in need of a last minute gift idea, consider making butter and using some of these other recipes for compound butters.

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3 Comments

  1. Very nice, I had no idea you could just make butter out of cream. I guess that would explain the parable my grandma told me about two frogs that fell into the cream.

    Question–if you wanted to salt it, do you do add it in the beginning or when you are squeezing it?

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