Homemade Butter

Posted 27 November 2010 by

I made butter! And it was really easy. One day, I will make butter from cream milked from my own roaming goats. Until then, I must make do with shop-bought cream. Just about every blog I read while researching this started off by defending butter, explaining that actually it’s very good for you, and that those scientific theories on saturated fat aren’t really proven. I’m not even going to try. Let’s face it: it’s not great for you. I’d rather eat it than synthetic margarine-type spreads; it’s natural and it can be organic. However, it also has a lot of saturated fat, which is not good for you. As always though, moderation is the key.

The whole process was very quick, and very easy. I started off by whipping double cream. I used the “K” beater of a Kenwood mixer. Basically, you have to get it to the whipped cream stage, and then let it go too far, so in future, if you ever overwhip cream, just make it into butter! This stage happened so quickly that I didn’t even notice it looking like whipped cream. It seriously took about 2 minutes to start looking like cottage cheese.

I slowed the mixer down then having read that it splits suddenly and can cover the kitchen with buttermilk. Indeed, it was sudden. The solid bits suddenly clumped together, and it all sounded very squelchy as the buttermilk came out.

I drained off the buttermilk, added some cold water and kept mixing it slowly. It’s important to get all the buttermilk out, or it will turn the butter rancid. In effect, I was rinsing the butter with water.

It got a bit messy, so I started squeezing the butter by hand, squeezing the remaining liquid out. I kept rinsing until the water ran clear. Ta da — butter! I had a taste, and sure enough it tasted like butter, very creamy butter. Being unsalted though, it’s a bit bland, so at this point I added salt. I wasn’t sure how much to add so I just kept tasting until it seemed right. And yes, I felt a bit sick after tasting butter for a while!

From 600 ml double cream I made about 300 g of butter. It looks, feels and tastes exactly as you’d expect. It can be frozen apparently too. This is such a great way to make compound butters, adding garlic or herbs. Is it better than shop bought? To be honest, I’d say it is tastier than some commercial butter, not as tasty as others. It’ll take some experimentation I think to get the best taste. For the time and effort involved though (ie. not a lot), it’s definitely worth it.

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