A few years back, I learned how to make my own homemade butter and I’ve been hooked ever since. The basic process involves pouring some whipping cream into a mason jar, adding salt to taste, and then shaking the hell out of it. Recently, I learned how to make cultured butter at home, which certainly bumps the whole homemade-butter-thing up a notch. And the extra steps aren’t that tedious. In fact they made shaking the butter even easier than usual. Fresh made butter is the jam. The texture is amazing and it’s a lot of fun to experiment with by adding extra seasoning. This recipe will yield about a stick of cultured butter, which is like regular butter… but with more culture. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 pint heavy whipping cream (FYI, 1 cup = 1/2 pint)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon live culture yogurt (we love Fage, but any yogurt with live or active culture will work)
- A mason jar (pint size or larger)
Step 1: Pour the whipping cream into the jar and evenly mix in the yogurt. Seal the jar and let it sit for 24 hours at room temp (not in the fridge, yo). Just let it sit. [Note: if you don’t have any yogurt, you can just skip step one and start right at the next step, but you’ll lose that sophisticated flavor]
The cultures in the yogurt should have worked their way through your cream by now and left you with a thick yogurt-like mix. Add salt to taste (I prefer 1/2 teaspoon) and any other fun stuff you’d like to add (fresh ground pepper, seasoning, etc). Close the jar and then shake it for about 5 minutes. This is going to separate the butter and the buttermilk. It won’t feel like it’s doing much at first, the cream will start to get thicker and thicker, then the butter will start to separate and you’ll suddenly feel the butter bump around and the buttermilk slosh around. Keep shaking until the butter is a solid mass. You can pour some of the buttermilk out before shaking some more, but you don’t need to overdo the shaking. Just enough to get all the buttermilk out. BTW, save your buttermilk for baking!
Once your butter is solid (like soft room temp butter), scoop it out of the jar and spread it on some fresh bread.
Bonus round: If you saved your buttermilk, here’s a great recipe for homemade buttermilk pancakes. Following the steps above, you should have about a half cup of buttermilk. If you double the butter recipe (and use a full pint of whipping cream), you’ll have a full cup of buttermilk, which is good for four servings of pancakes.
Huge thanks to my wife, Christine, for helping me with this recipe and making those amazing pancakes (after my failed attempt earlier that morning).