How to Make Butter

Learning how to make butter was once the requirement of every small child. My 85-year-old mother still talks about how the children took turns churning the butter every day when she was young. She didn't particularly care for the work, but she loved the fresh butter and buttermilk that resulted!

Making butter involves separating the solid portion (mainly fats) of cream from the liquid part. It does require a good deal of labor, but now we can let a hand mixer do most of the work, instead of arm and shoulder muscles!

Start by putting about two cups of full-fat cream in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until the cream starts to turn fluffy. (This first stage of making butter actually results in whipped cream.)

At this point, turn the mixer on high, and continue to beat the cream until it has "deflated."

Making butter

Soon, you will begin to see liquid separating from small, solid pieces of fat.

When the separation is complete (there is no more white cream &mdash only liquid and fat clumps) pour the liquid through a strainer. Making butter with mixer

Draining homemade butter

Using a spoon, or clean hands, collect the clumps of fat and place into a bowl. Pour a small amount of ice water into the bowl to congeal the butter into a solid mass.

Don't worry about the water mixing in with your butter--pure water and pure fat won't combine!

Now, using a wooden spoon or spatula, press and work the clump of butter against the sides of the bowl so that any remaining liquid (the "buttermilk") is removed. If necessary, drain the water and buttermilk, pour fresh ice water in the bowl, and repeat. Homemade butter in ice water

Pressing homemade butter

It is very important to remove all of the buttermilk from the butter if you plan to store it for longer than 2-3 days. The buttermilk will cause the butter to sour if it remains.

When all the buttermilk has been removed, the butter is ready to eat, or to store in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for longer storage.


Articles are updated frequently, so check back here for any new information on how to make butter!

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