Nine times out of ten, I buy my butter at the grocery store. However, every once in a while–usually around holidays or when we have company over to the house for dinner– I opt to make my own. It sounds like it would be a lot of work, but it really isn’t difficult at all, and you can’t beat the taste. Looking back over the time stamps on my photos, it took 14 minutes start to finish.
The best part about making butter is that it’s one ingredient only: heavy whipping cream. The size doesn’t really matter. All you have to keep in mind is that the volume of butter will be reduced by a more than half of the volume of cream.
What I use:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
4-cup glass measuring cup
hand mixer with whisk attachment
glass butter dish
Pour the heavy whipping cream into a deep, but narrow container or bowl. I use a 4-cup glass measuring cup. I’ve found that the butter forms much faster when using the measuring cup than when using a bowl. In fact, it often cuts the time down by as much as 1/3. It’s sides are also high enough that cream doesn’t go flying across the room.
The cream will look like this when you start:
Using the whip setting–the highest setting on my mixer– begin to whip the cream, and it will begin to thicken somewhat.
Eventually it will look like really stiff whipped cream with some yellow showing in the ridges of the cream. It will then begin to look somewhat crumbly.
At this point, you might want to lower the speed of your mixer somewhat. The solid butter separates from the liquid buttermilk really quickly and you might get splashed.
Pour the contents of the measuring cup into the colander. Rinse with water. You can skip to the next part if you want, but I usually toss the butter glob back into the measuring cup and whip it a little more to separate the last of the buttermilk from the butter. Then I rinse it again.
Dump the butter glob onto a few absorbent paper towels, and lightly squeeze out any excess moisture.
I then pack by butter into a glass butter dish and store it in the refrigerator.
When holiday time comes around, I usually make butter using a quart of heavy cream. I mix it in my 8-cup measuring bowl, and I separate it into quarters and refrigerate them in zip-top bags.
It’s really easy to add salt, cinnamon, sugar, herbs, or other spices before storing the butter. I usually just leave it unsalted, though, for everyday use.
There are also tons of methods for making butter–you can do it in a stand mixer, or a blender, or a food processor, or a jar filled with marbles. I’m sure you could do it by hand with a whisk, too. I wouldn’t want to do it that way, though.