Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Homemade Butter

Biscuits slathered in fresh butter, jelly from my grapevine, and my coffee is hidden under whipped cream.
I assume you were expecting to see a hand-crank butter churn.  NOT!  I love my work saving tools, especially my antique Kitchen Aid.  Making butter is quite easy and certainly worth all the hard work...done by my electric mixer.  

This pitcher is holding some of the cream from the seven gallons of milk we purchased fresh the previous day from the Amish.  Notice the pitcher has one rubber band around it as a sign to my family it is cream, not milk.

Inside the bowl, I poured three cups of cold cream right from the refrigerator. Normally I don't measure it, just dump, but for accuracy on this post, I am measuring this time.

Next, I turn the mixer up as high as it will go without splattering everything all over the walls.  It will turn into whipped cream before it turns into butter. Whipped cream, yum, so many delicious uses for this.

If you keep the mixer spinning on high, the cream will begin changing from whipped cream to butter.  You will need to be near enough to hear your mixer so you can listen for the change in the sound.  It will begin separating and will start splashing.  At this point, you need to slow the mixer speed down and begin watching as it separates.  If you leave the mixer on high, it will sling cream all over the walls, counter, and floor. Trust me on this.

With the mixer turned down to a slow speed, it will finish "churning" and become chunks of butter. Now it is finished and ready to be removed.  The total churn time was 20 minutes.

I strain it to separate the butter from the whey.  Notice there are two rubber bands on the pitcher as a warning to my family to think twice before drinking this.

Now comes the fun part, smashing it into butter balls. Without refrigeration, it would be necessary to use a butter press to remove any extra whey so the butter could be stored at room temperature.  This is not a concern for me since I can just throw the extra balls into the freezer and use them as needed.

These butter balls weighed 4 ounces altogether, a surprise for me since I thought they would weigh more for their size. Usually, I am in a hurry and don't bother pressing hard, just enough to hold together.   A butter press would push out the extra air bubbles and they would probably be smaller.  Just guessing. When I use the balls in a recipe, I melt them in a measuring cup to be sure get the correct measurement.

As I was searching the internet, I ran across websites which said you should have the cream at room temperature to make butter.  To see if I got a larger amount of butter by churning at room temperature, I did it again using warm cream.  The thermometer registers a temperature of 76 degrees.

It mixed up differently in the mixer and completely skipped the whipped cream stage and went straight to butter.

It was necessary to mix it at a slow speed because the warm cream was splattering out all over the counter. Putting a cloth over the mixer was an absolute necessity.

The cream separated into butter but it took thirty-five minutes to reach this point since the mixer had to go at a slower speed.

The consistency was different because it was warmer and melted.  It was hard to handle and stuck to my hands just like, well just like melted butter.  Sorry, no pictures, my hands were too greasy to touch the camera.

These are both batches sitting side by side.  On the left are the butter balls formed with the warm milk and on the right are the ones formed with the cold milk.  The ones on the left are smaller because so much of the butter stuck to my hands.  In my estimation, both produced the same amount of butter but I can't be exact because I did not weigh it.  I didn't expect the warm butter it to make such a big mess.  Lesson learned.

This pitcher contains all of the leftover whey from both batches. The whey can be used in recipes or drunk as skim milk (my husband calls it scum milk, hates it).  If you leave it out at room temperature overnight it will clabber and become buttermilk.  Really.  Just leave it out overnight, so simple. Who knew?  (Well me for one.  I didn't know until I asked my farm-raised Mom.)

WARNING:  DO NOT DO THIS WITH STORE BOUGHT MILK!  If you leave it out overnight, you will get sick.

Making butter from cream at room temperature is not something I will ever do again.  My plan is to continue using cold cream.  Not being able to scoop out some of the whipped cream for a cup of hot coffee is a tragedy. This is my special treat whenever I make butter:  to sit and drink coffee piled high with whipped cream while my mixer does all the work.

Just wondering, am I the only person on the internet who has trouble getting my family to wait patiently while I take pictures of their food?


  1. That's it! I'm coming over for biscuits and coffee. Those biscuits look divine! :)

    1. Bring the girls and come on! I love cooking for women. We could use the fancy dishes, napkins with lace and no one would complain about the "sissy" little cups. It would be fun. So, next summer when ya'll take your vacation, come see me, just turn right past the tractor mailbox.

  2. When I used to buy raw milk from "Barb the milk lady" I used my mixer as well to make butter. I used to rinse and press out the extra cream with a rubber scraper.

    I liked making butter, but actually always used more butter per week then the 1-2 gallons of raw milk's cream could produce. After the lady's cow went dry to have another calf, we just started buying from the store--not as healthy for you, I'm told, but available year round and more affordable.

    How nice you can have the experience. I well remember watching my mother make butter in a glass jar attached to something (I was small) with a paddle-type mixer going round and round...Good memories. Then, of course, we bought milk like everyone else as I grew up.

    1. We don't always have enough butter either because I use the cream in so many recipes like...MORNING COFFEE!!

      I have seen the Amish ladies use the paddle-type mixer. I did not know what it was until I left and researched it on the internet. It gets old constantly having to ask questions. The more I learn, the less I know.

  3. Replies
    1. Let me know how it turns out. I would love to hear.

  4. How wonderful that you can get fresh milk to make your butter! I love making butter, but have to just use the whipping cream I get from the store. I agree wholeheartedly that the cream needs to be cold. Plus, your pictures are really nice...not to worry. :)

    1. Hello Jennifer, I love the whipping cream but as I searched the internet when first trying to learn how to make butter, I kept reading instructions to whip the milk while warm. For this post I decided to finally try it, never again. Real butter is really so to whipped cream.

  5. I used to have to churn when I was a kid. A picture of our old churn is in my April 22, 2008 post. Mom always put I think about 3 gallons of milk in the was not full to the rim. May have put 4...I cannot remember for sure. And she let it set out for a day or two. Then let he games has a lid with a hole that fits down over the churn dash. And one of us would have to sit and churn...sometimes it took longer than others. But eventually the butter would start to gather on top. When we thought it was done, we would dip the butter off into a bowl. We always used a metal bowl...and we added ice cubes to the butter to cool it out till we could work the water/whey out of it. Then we took the ice that was left out...I think mom always salted it a little. She usually just formed a ball by hand...I did sometimes...but I think she handled it more than I did, even if I set and did the churning. And as I said in the blog post, we used the buttermilk, and also some people bought it.