Like the King who asks for “a little bit of butter to my bread” in A. A. Milne’s famous poem, I too like my butter. Only, my bread is usually slathered with a perfectly sinful amount of butter! Mom gets mad when I load it on, but gotta admit – it’s one of my weaknesses (the other is chocolate :D).
There’s nothing really hard about making homemade butter. Anyone can do it. And the end result is truly worth the time and energy put into making it. Most recipes just use plain sweet cream, which can be turned into butter; but the flavor isn’t as interesting nor as full as cultured cream. To make cultured cream, simply add 1/4 cup of buttermilk to 1 quart of cream. Let it sit out on the counter for 12-24 hours to ripen. This is the first step in making homemade butter. Warm cream also takes less time to turn into butter than cream that is cold.
2 – After it had set, I gave the cream a quick stir. It was pretty thick. Then I poured it into our electric bread mixer fitted with 2 whisks. When making butter you must pay close attention when beating it. It only takes a minute for the stuff to separate and if it gets over beaten there’s no way to fix it. In LESS than a minute mine had separated. See the buttermilk?
3- Using a large cheesecloth I drained the buttermilk into a bowl, leaving the butter in the cloth of course. Then I washed the butter. This is done by making a hammock and rinsing the butter under VERY cold water. I did this several times, rolling the butter around in the cloth, rocking it back and forth to get all of the way down to the bottom.
4- Now that the butter was washed it was time to press it. Pressing removes all the buttermilk and water, and if the butter is to keep well they must be out. Before pressing, however, I added 1 and a 1/4 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt. (The golden rule is 1 teaspoon per pound). Mine weighed approx. 19.45 oz but then again, I like my butter salty! Next I distributed it evenly around the edge of my wooden bowl and pressed thoroughly by folding and pressing. NEVER smear it. Smearing causes the butter to turn greasy.
5- Once I had squeezed out as much liquid as possible – really, this is the hardest part of the whole recipe! – I then patted my beautiful butter into a log and popped it in the fridge. And here’s a photo of the finished product. Store bought stuff pales in comparison to my homemade Jersey butter:
By the way, mine is just shy of a pound!