Last updated on November 29th, 2016
Apparently every woman that was once a Girl Scout remembers an activity whereshe 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.
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.