Home-Made Butter

31 Comments

I was given a butter kit from Williams-Sonoma as a gift years ago, but I’ve resisted using it. Why? Because I thought I would lose the use of my right arm.

If you read the directions to make the butter, which uses purchased heavy cream, you must vigorously shake the enclosed container of cream for 35 minutes. And I can’t use my left hand for anything. If I tried to brush my teeth with my left hand I’d surely poke out my eye.

But yesterday I was determined to try out this butter project and risk injury. This is the label for the kit.

butter22

The kit includes the container plus all of this.

butter33

So I placed the room temperature cream, a whole pint of it, in the washed and dried plastic container.

butter11

And then I screwed on the lid and began shaking, with my right hand, reviewing the estimated times when things would occur inside the jar. For example, between 4 to 6 minutes the cream would thicken and you would no longer hear sloshing. Which did indeed happen.

But within minutes, I had come to the final step, which is when you can see through the plastic container and see butter. It took less than ten minutes in all, instead of the 35 or more minutes. Halelujah!

So this is what it looked like inside the container:

butter9

As according to the directions, I poured off what they referred to as “buttermilk” into a glass for another use.

butter8

Which left this in the container:

butter7

So I placed the butter inside a bowl and poured 1 cup of icy cold water over the butter blob.

butter5

Then I massaged the butter, much like kneading bread. This gets the milky water out of it.
butter4

I poured off the water, then massaged a little bit more, which helped in removing a bit more liquid.

butter3

I didn’t want to salt the butter or use the herbes de Provence, so instead I chopped up a little bit of fresh rosemary and thyme, and also included a bit of dried thyme.

Then I smushed the butter into the herbs and massaged them in.

butter2

Then I placed the butter in some plastic wrap in a log shape.

butter1

Then using the plastic wrap, I formed a smooth log of butter and wrapped it up and refrigerated it.
butter

For dinner last night I made steaks, which was a perfect opportunity to top them with a slice of the herbed fresh butter. Let me tell you, fresh butter is so different from store bought. I had no idea. I’ve since dipped artichoke leaves in this butter, topped hot quartered potatoes with it, and have many more plans.

The pint of cream makes 1/2 pound of butter, so it’s probably not economical in the long run. And I probably would never cook with it. But if you want to try out fresh butter, this is definitely worth doing. I wish I’d known how to do this when I taught cooking classes to young ladies. It would have really been fun!

I never ended up using any other parts of the kit, so I wouldn’t recommend purchasing the kit, although it makes a fun gift. And I think it would really be fun to do with children.