Recently, when I made homemade creme fraiche, I figured why not make my own cultured butter, too.
Butter made by first allowing heavy cream to culture naturally has a rich and complex flavor, and it’s really quite easy to prepare. Using the best quality cream (definitely organic, and raw if it’s available to you) results in the best quality butter. Keep in mind that butter made from the cream of pastured/grass-fed cows contains vital nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, and E.
Making your own butter begins in a very similar fashion to the homemade creme fraiche. You start by stirring a couple of tablespoons of cultured dairy (I used organic plain yogurt, but you could also use buttermilk) into your cream…
…then allow it to naturally ferment for about 12 hours at room temperature. Depending on your ambient temperature, it may thicken up a lot and it may not: either is fine.
You can make butter simply by shaking your jar of cream (this takes a while, but is fun to do with children), but I used my stand mixer to make my butter (a food processor also works well). What you are essentially doing is over whipping the cream. You may have done this inadvertently in the past…this time, you want to do it on purpose. You will end up with butter and buttermilk.
It’s important to press all of the liquid out of the butter (make sure to save the buttermilk), and also to rinse it thoroughly. The “cleaner” it is and the more liquid you extract, the longer it will last.
When your butter is ready, I’m sure you’ll find lots of ways to use it. I don’t use my homemade cultured butter in recipes where the butter is cooked: I spread it onto breads and other baked goods, crackers, and even vegetables (like radishes) so I can really savor the taste.
Organic Cultured Butter Recipe
Makes approximately 1 cup of butter
*1 pint organic, and preferably not ultra-pasteurized, heavy cream
*3 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt or all-natural, cultured buttermilk
1. Combine cream and yogurt in a glass jar and mix well. Cover the jar and allow to sit at room temperature for 12 hours.
2. Pour the cultured cream into the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn mixer on medium-high speed. Beat for 5-7 minutes, or until the cream has passed through the whipped cream stage, allowing it to separate into pale yellow butter and the off-white liquid which is the buttermilk.
3. Pour the butter and buttermilk into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press as much of the buttermilk out as possible, then bottle it and save for another purpose. Take the fine mesh strainer with the butter in it and run cold water over it in the sink. Do this until the water runs clear.
4. Put the butter still in the strainer back over a bowl and, using your clean hands or a wooden spoon or spatula, knead/press it to remove the rest off the buttermilk/water. Keep kneading it until it is as "dry" as you can get it. You can add a pinch of sea salt to the butter, if you like, while you are kneading it.
4. When you have pressed all of the liquid out of your butter, put it in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer for storage. Or, if you have a butter crock, you can store it at room temperature.
It’s not gluten-free, but I recently made this cooked rice sandwich bread by AntoniaJames and it was the perfect vessel for getting the homemade butter into my mouth.
Home Dairy with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter & More has excellent information about making homemade butter, and here are a few more great posts about making your own butter: