This morning I decided (well, actually two weeks ago I decided and just got around to it this morning) that I was going to make my own butter!
500 mL carton of 35% (whipping) cream - or heavier, but it's not necessary, just adds more fat to your butter.
a pinch or two of salt (optional)
dried rosemary or basil if you want to be fancy (but I didn't)
Hand beater with whisk attachment
Large bowl (to stop splattering)
Can you turn on and hold a beater? Do you have the patience to hold this beater for about 15 minutes? Do you get giddy about little things such as the changing states of cream? Then you can make butter.
15 min or so with an electric beater. Want to use a churn & dash like great-grandma? All day.
I was able to get over a cup of butter from the 500 mL carton, plus about 2/3 cup of buttermilk.
Worth it? :
When you buy butter at the supermarket, it usually costs about 2.99-3.49 a pound (or about two cups. And you don't have to do anything. It's already butter. I got two 500 mL cartons of cream on sale for 2 for $5, and it made just over a pound of butter, so really... just buy the butter. But this is super fun to try and you feel really accomplished when you do it. If you don't have a beater already.. don't bother.
Pour the cream into the bowl. Add your salt to taste. I found I used a bit more because Dave and I both like salted butter. Turn on your beater to a low speed to start (or turn it on high and spray yourself and your kitchen as I did).
Ignore the residue on the sides of my bowl... I'd already done a batch so that's butter flecks.
Once you have blended for a few seconds and whipped up a good froth ;)... your cream will get a little stiffer and you can turn up the speed on your blender. You won't have whipped for two minutes before you can see the beginnings of whipped cream!
The cream will start getting more and more grainy looking...
Soon your cream will take on a little bit of a glisten and, if you can hear it over your beater, it will sound a little squelchy. At this point, I slow my beater down to about half of full speed. It may remind you a bit of runny-ish scrambled eggs.
With your beater at the medium settng, continue to slowly swirl around the bowl (make sure you are still scraping your sides to get everything) until it starts to stick together.
At this point, you will start to see liquid forming in the bottom of the bowl... that's buttermilk! Slow your beater down to the minimum speed to stop it from spraying. Just like bread dough in a mixer (if you've ever made that) the butter will start to come together on its own. Just keep mixing.
Your butter will get to a point that your beater won't swirl through it anymore. Let your beater dance the lump of butter around to let it attract other small stray lumps to it until you've got your one big lump of butter sitting in the buttermilk.
OMG butter! I just made butter! Cool! (And no, I'm not making fun of you... that's exactly what I said). Take your lump of butter in your hand and just sort of dab at your strays to pick them up (just like you would with cookie dough, say). Give your lump of butter a squeeze to get the extra buttermilk out, then take the lump over to the sink and run it under some cool water. As your washing it, roll it between your hands to make it into a smooth sphere. Or, if you're fancy like the mom in Little House in the Big Woods, put it into a cute mold to make shapes. I don't have one. But it'll happen. Now you've got butter and buttermilk! Enjoy it!!