It’s a wonderful fat. In fact, it’s a healthy fat to eat, and here’s why.
However, buying good butter (grass-fed, organic) is expensive. However, making it yourself is much cheaper! And it’s easy, too. This is a great project for little ones or homeschooled kids, so that they can learn where their food comes from.
Today I’m going to show you how to do it, step by step.
Choosing quality ingredients matters. I buy a 1/2 gallon carton of whipping cream (local, grass-fed and low-temp. pasteurized, because that’s the best available to me). If you have access to raw cream, even better! Ultra-high-temp pasteurized cream may not work, so choose regular pasteurized if that’s what is at your store.
I get about 3 lbs. of butter from this 1/2 gallon carton, and it costs about $13. Not all cows will produce cream that has such a high ratio of butter to cream (75% of mine turns to butter), but I’m lucky. 🙂 So this breaks down to being a little over $4/lb.
How to Make Butter
- Whipping cream (any amount, NOT ultra-pasteurized)
- A blender or food processor
- A glass dish
That’s it! Simple. You could add salt, too, if you like your butter salted, but I prefer not to. Butter doesn’t taste like BUTTER to me when salt is added, and it’s easier to bake and cook with if you can control the salt in each recipe individually.
Here’s a picture of my supplies:
Now, pour your whipping cream into your blender (or food processor). If you have little ones who want to help, pour a little in a jar with a lid and hand it to them! They can shake it until it turns to butter. That takes a little longer, but it’s fun for them.
With my blender (it’s a Vitamix), I can only do 2 cups at a time, or else it doesn’t all get mixed in well. I occasionally forget this and try to do larger batches, but I end up having to scoop out some whipped cream while I finish one batch of butter, then add it back to the next batch…not worth it. You’ll have to experiment with your machine, but 2 c. works well for me.
Here’s a picture of cream in the blender:
It’s just sitting there so far. And yes, you can see the blender itself, my dry container, and various other jars in the background. Those are my loose tea jars. 🙂
Now, place the blender on the base and turn it on LOW. On my Vitamix, 3 is the best setting. If I turn it too high, it will whip the cream until thick, then get stuck and be unable to move further. When that happens I have to keep turning it off and using a long tool to loosen it. When it’s on low, it’s agitating it enough to keep it moving but without making it too thick and getting stuck. Make sense?
Well, trust me, that’s what happens, I’ve done it enough times! (And I still don’t always remember….)
Here is what it looks like while whipping:
Let it keep going for awhile. If you stop it after a few minutes, when the sound changes and it sounds “thick” (does thick have a sound?), it will look like this:
Smooth, thick, whipped cream. It’s not ready yet. If this is what you have, turn the blender back on. Soon it will start to look like this:
Can you see the thick yellow-ness at the bottom, with the whitish stuff on top? That’s butter!! And buttermilk on top. It has separated, so it’s done now. See what it looks like as I stir it:
Now you can REALLY see the butter in the center. The liquid may not be the buttermilk, it may be water. I don’t remember when I took this picture.
Because, here’s what to do next: pour off the buttermilk into a separate container and KEEP IT. It can be used like milk, and ironically has a high fat content. You do not want to get rid of this!! It is not the same as cultured buttermilk, but it is still very good to use.
Then, pour some water in the blender. Use a spatula to squish it around, like I’m doing in the above picture. The water will be white at first. Pour it off and repeat. Keep doing this until the water is clear. This is the most annoying and time consuming part, but you need to do it. This “washes” the butter — gets the remaining milk out. If you don’t, your butter won’t last very long.
Once your butter is washed and has been pressed so that all the water (or as much as possible) is out, it’s time to store it. I buy glass Pyrex dishes, 3-cup size. I split my 1/2 gal. of cream into 2 dishes. One goes in the fridge, one goes in the freezer. I also store the buttermilk in a Pyrex dish and put that in the fridge until I need it. Here is my finished butter and buttermilk:
There it is! You’ve made butter!