Whether you are starting your day with toast and coffee or attempting to master a challenging recipe by Julia Child, a necessary ingredient will surely be butter. My beautiful spouse and I take that to be a fundamental law of cooking. But, we have wondered, if you can buy butter and use butter, is it possible to go one step further and learn the hidden secret and make this mysterious dairy product yourself?
We here at Serendipity Farmhouse (SFH) have found that the processing and preparation of dairy products is an adventurous mixture of mystery and chemistry. That is why we have a page entirely devoted to Daring Dairy.
Join us now as we dare to make butter in the soon to be famous SFH test kitchen.
Butter Making Preparation
A few weeks ago, my loving and caring spouse surprised me with two unusual birthday gifts. The first was a Kilner Butter Churner. She is convinced that if she puts the right tool or utensil in my hand that I will do something with it – for her. Obviously, she was giving me not just a present but also a strong signal that it’s time to learn how to make butter. Out of love, obedience, curiosity, and an almost inordinate love of butter I accepted the gift and the challenge.
With the exception of a butter churner, every kitchen has the utensils required to make butter. With a little ingenuity, you could probably improvise a way to churn the cream with common kitchen utensils. Following is a list of the items we used:
|1x – Butter churner||We used our Kilner Butter Churner|
|1x – 2-cup measuring cup|
|2x – Spatulas (rubber or silicone)||In lieu of butter paddles|
|1x – Glass bowl|
|1x – 8 oz. drinking glass||For the residual butter milk|
Nothing that occurs in a kitchen is without controversy. Almost always, the debate is centered on choice of ingredients. Butter has only one ingredient – cream. Why would there need to be any argument? Well, in the 1860’s when Louis Pasteur introduced his process for killing microbes, the preparation of milk, cream, and other dairy products was influenced by the new process. The advent of ultra-pasteurization further complicated the issue. Thus, when you ask a simple question about making butter you get convoluted, ambiguous answers.
We here at SFH only drink raw cow and goat milk. However, we didn’t have enough raw cream for our first butter making attempt. We chose the simple solution, we used ultra-pasteurized heavy whipping cream from the local grocery store. It worked just fine – end of debate.
|10 oz. heavy cream||Ultra-pasteurized worked for us|
|2 to 3 cups cold water|
Step 1 – Prepare Utensils & Ingredients: Now fully armed with utensils, ingredients, and official Kilner instructions I was ready to make butter – right? No, wrong! I was ready to make my first mistake.
The directions clearly state: “Remove cream from refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 2 hours.” Oops! Missed that! So, I had to improvise with a bowl of slightly warm water.
Lesson Learned: Read the butter churning directions well in advance of the project. Otherwise, you will get nasty stares from your 18 lb. Maine Coon cat, who has been waiting all day for a lick of fresh butter.
Step 2 – Churning the Cream: Lovely spouse and I took turns churning. Kilner estimates 10 – 12 minutes should do it. We had a quarter pound of butter in less than 8 minutes!
Step 3: – Rinsing the butter: This is where the cold water, optional ice cubes, and spatulas come into play. First you pour off the residual butter milk. You can drink it right away or save it for making scones or something else. Scoop the butter out from the churn, rinse it in the cold water, and shape it as desired.
Voila! You have butter – mission accomplished
If you would like to watch the butter making process in action, check out the Kilner butter churner video.
The second gift my wonderful wife gave me for my birthday was a Norpro Glazed Stoneware Butter Keeper. This handy-dandy little device will keep butter fresh at room temperature for up to three weeks. All that is needed is a quarter pound of butter and bit of water to seal out air from the butter while in the keeper. It’s simple, it’s easy to use, and most importantly, it works.
My beautiful wife thinks of everything!
Now, for those of you who love butter and appreciate the joy brought into kitchens and dining rooms by Julia Child, here is a video worth watching.
- SFH Food 2018-04: Julia, Butter & Serendipity Farmhouse
- Daring Dairy 2018-01: Julia, Butter & Serendipity Farmhouse