The holidays are approaching and that means endless meals with friends and family. To kick off the season of eating I got together with some girlfriends for an old fashioned day of making butter. Except instead of churns, we had mixers. And wine. We had a lot of wine.
Butter making is simple and you only need a few items: heavy whipping cream (1 pint will produce about 1/2 pound of butter); cheesecloth; a food processor with a mixing or paddle blade; plenty of bowls and forks to stir in ingredients; containers for the butter (4oz mason jars work well); and salt and other ingredients as desired.
The process is easy. You start by pouring the cream into the mixer. Lower the whisk into the cream and turn it to about half speed. Mixing typically takes 3 to 10 minutes. You can also make butter by shaking the cream in a sealed container (read about that process here). Shaking takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes (and results in a super tired arm).
As the cream is processed it will separate into butter and buttermilk. (You can save the buttermilk for other cooking projects if you so desire). Once this happens, pour the buttermilk and butter into a bowl with a colander or cheesecloth.
Use the cheesecloth to squeeze out any liquid and then rinse the butter. This process feels really weird and you get your hands covered in butter.
If you don’t press out all of the buttermilk the butter will spoil faster. Homemade butter will last in the refrigerator for 1-3 weeks, depending on how well you squeeze the buttermilk out. If you store the butter in the freezer, unsalted butter will stay good for 5-6 months but salted butter can last up to 9 months.
Once the butter has been pressed and washed you are ready to add your ingredients. You can just add salt for simple plain butter, or you can add fresh herbs, spices, garlic, cheeses, wine, lemon/lime, peppers, jam, and the list goes on. Each ingredient adds its own unique flavor and flair.
We made 11 types of butter, all ingredients are to-taste, so add as much of each as you like:
- Lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper
- Basil, lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper
- Brie, roasted garlic, and salt
- Rosemary, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper (delicious)
- Organic basil, espresso sea salt, and pepper (my favorite)
- Honey, honey goat cheese, blue cheese, and salt
- White wine, thyme, honey, and salt
- Peach brandy jam
- Nutella (life changing)
- Maple peanut butter
- Pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, and all spice
If you have any recipes you like add them in the comments below! It looks like this may be an annual tradition so they could make their way on to the menu next year.