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How To Make Butter at Home. A Fun Activity - No Special Equipment is Needed!

Updated on January 19, 2012

You'll Never Look at Butter the Same Way Again!

Something funny has been going on with the butter I've been buying as of late. I have come to the conclusion that the powers that be (in this case the butter makers of this country) have been sneaking non butter substances into what is supposed to be pure butter – and there is nothing like a hint of margarine to ruin an otherwise great pat of butter.

Well, if you can't fight em', you might as well join em'! And thus I have begun a new chapter in my life - as a part time butter churner!

We have decided to produce all of the butter we need for the restaurant ourselves, and we are doing it the old fashioned way – which means lots of muscle power is needed (which is also probably a good thing, as I've been looking more buttery than muscley as of late…)

But although the making of butter without machines does take a little elbow grease, there is nothing all that tricky about it – anyone with a little determination can do it.

So if you're not satisfied with the quality of your butter – or if you have access to more cream than you know what to do with, or you just want to try out what is really a neat activity – churn out some butter!

How to Churn Butter

By churn I mean shake up, as I have no butter churner and neither, in all probability, do you!

  • 1 quart of heavy or whipping cream
  • A couple of pinches of salt
  1. Let your cream sit out exposed to the air (opened) in a warm spot in your kitchen. 12 hours should be enough time to give your cream the slight sour tang that is delicious in butter. You can omit this waiting step, but your butter flavor will be milder.
  2. Pour the cream into a large container with a tightly sealable lid.
  3. Shake the cream up vigorously, and keep shaking it until the cream has separated into butter and buttermilk (15 to 20 minutes is a good guess on time). It takes patience and endurance, and it's good to have a partner to trade the shaking duties with. Don’t get discouraged if after about 15 minutes it still just looks like thick cream – it will separate, it just requires time and agitation.
  4. Keep shaking until you have a ball of butter sitting in a pool of buttermilk.
  5. You can consume this immediately, but if you plan on keeping it for days or weeks, you need to rinse it well to remove all traces of the cream (if any buttermilk remains in the butter it can sour the butter quickly).
  6. Knead the butter gently in your hands as you hold it under running cold water. A minute or so should be sufficient to clean out all traces of buttermilk.
  7. Salt to taste if desired (about ½ tsp). Salted butter will keep for longer. 1 quart of cream will yield about 1 lb of fresh sweet homemade butter!


Making Butter in a Food Processor


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