Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Making Butter

I recently joined the Bushwick Food Coop, which gives me access to raw, organic, grass fed dairy from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. I was strangely craving ice cream last week despite the cold weather, so I ordered heavy cream in addition to my usual milk. However, feeling lazier this week and having run out of butter, I decided to give a whirl at turning my cream into butter instead. You can theoretically do so by shaking a mason jar of cream over a half hour, but I don't have an empty jar to spare right now (all are housing bulk goods), and butter can be made in just a few minutes in a food processor or stand mixer.

I followed Kelly's lead over at eat make read. Sure enough, the transformation went through all the proper phases as I paused the food processor every minute or so to check on progress: cream turned into thick white whipped cream and then into yellower crumbly soft butter. Next, liquid began to spray the sides of the food processor as the buttermilk separated from a mass of solid butter.

I strained the buttermilk to save for baking. The final step was to rinse the butter in extremely cold water while kneading it a bit until the water ran clear and then to dry it in a paper towel or cheesecloth. A pint of cream will give you about one cup of butter, good in the fridge for roughly one week.

I'm going to a potluck this weekend. What should I make to highlight this tasty butter? Bread to serve with herbed butter? Buttermilk scones or biscuits? Empanadas? Any other ideas? Help me decide!


  1. Wow - homemade butter sounds fantastic.
    I think really good butter on really good bread is just one of the best things ever - maybe with a couple of other things that could also go on the bread-tapenade etc.?

  2. haha - it's a little funny that you were feeling lazy so you decided to MAKE butter :)

  3. Damn. You never fail to impress me.

    Also, agreed with LK's suggestions.

  4. You're always doing such ambitious cooking!

  5. Also, I'm *determind* to make real socialization happen come spring! We'll have to do something soon!

  6. WOMAN, this is amazing. Something I've been dying to try here in the land of masala: homemade butter with HONEY and CHILI. Try it. S'posed to be off the HOOK on a bit of crusty sourdough.


  7. very married - haha well yes compared to ice cream which involves a stovetop and a freezer and two free nights, butter which requires less than 30 minutes is lazy.

    Jenna, yes my life is going a million miles a minute but I will email you about getting together later in april.

    Lily - honey and chili. that sounds fascinating. maybe i will!

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