Monday, January 16, 2012

Making Fresh Cream Butter

I recently  learned how to make butter from my friend Ashlie. It's very simple to do and delicious!

The first thing you need if you are making butter at home is whole milk with the cream. Ashlie bought hers from a man who has his own milk farm down the road (and a license to sell to the public.) If you have never tried fresh whole milk- a note of warning: You might become addicted, it is nothing like the white-colored water sold in plastic gallon jugs at the super market. ;)

 You can (barely) see the line towards the top where the cream has separated from the milk.
 You will need a clean container with a good lid like the glass jar above to shake the cream in.
 Get a scoop, we used a 1/2 measuring cup, and carefully pour the cream into the shaking jar.
 Your jar needs to be about half full, not more or you will not leave enough room for good shaking and expansion of the butter as it expands with air. (Hi Ashlie!)
 Screw the lid on very tight and.... you are ready to shake the cream!
(Better than a shake weight because it's obviously productive...
then again, it produces butter which gives you more calories... hmmmm.)
 After about 6 minutes, the cream is looking frothy and expanding with the bubbles.
 After about 12 minutes, the cream is turning yellow and starting to clump together in little butter balls.
 Here you can see the butter starting to stick to the sides of the jar.
 After about 15-20 minutes of constant shaking, you can see yellow creamy butter.
Now the butter can be scooped out into a container to be washed...
 ...and the whey can be poured back into the milk jar. 
A wide-mouthed jar is appreciated for this step, since you have to scoop the butter out.
 If you do not wash the milk out of the butter, as Ashlie found out the hard way, you will end up with spoiled-milk tasting butter- yuck!

 Here is the butter before washing.
 To wash, run clean water over the butter...
 ...and press the milk out of the butter with your spoon.
 You may need to repeat this step 3-4 times.
 When the water runs clear, you will know it has been washed adequately. Press as much of the water out as you can. If you would like salted butter, now is the time to add the salt and mix well.
 If you have a butter bell, now you will scoop all of your butter into the bell part...
 Compact the butter into the bell so that any excess water rises to the top and can be poured out.
 Next fill the bottom part of the butter bell with 1/4 cup of clean water and...
 invert into itself to seal the butter, keep it fresh and soft.
Remember to change the water in your butter bell every other day to keep your butter fresh.
Thanks, Ashlie, for the lesson in making butter!


One of the ways we enjoy fresh butter is with fresh homemade flour tortillas and honey!


  1. Pretty cool! might stick with the tillamook butter for now, although we do live next to a dairy but they aren't suppose to sell it.

  2. so pretty (and as I remember a great upper body workout!)

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 7 adopted