My Big, Fat, Homemade Butter

March 15, 2013

— Yes, Virginia, I make my own butter. —

Nothing says ‘We’re in the country now’ like making your own butter. “You make your own butter?! OMGasp!” Well, actually, it’s not all that hard to make butter. You can do it in your apartment, martini in hand, reservations for dinner at Nobu just moments away.

I have to say, while homemade butter is truly fantabulous, butter is just sickly-great in general. Trader Joes makes delicious butter! Land-o-Lakes makes delicious butter! If you slather ENOUGH OF IT on a Thomas’ English Muffin, butter is delicious! Period.

But when you make it yourself, you appreciate it, respect it, know where it comes from, and eat more of it. You eat pounds of it per square inch. That’s why your butter is so good.

I say make butter! Buy nice butter! Put some muscle into it! Use a whole stick in one day.

— Strictly there for effect, our butter churner churns no butter. —

Warning: according to the Rule Book, you are never supposed to eat this stuff. Baby cows and goats eat this layer of cream to get big. Eat enough of it and you will get big. But here’s what I say; I’m thin and I’m healthy and, yes, I eat butter. I eat gorgeous, lovely, creamy butter that I either make myself or that comes in super-expensive pretty packaging. The harder it is to make, the more money you pay for it, the more you will savor that English muffin in the morning. Butter is good (my theory). Where else would the ‘it’s like buttah’ phrase come from? Buttah is yummy. Buttah is like butter.

You worked hard for it (see below). So indulge.

— The KitchenAid makes country life that much easier. —


Ingredients: 1 quart heavy cream

1. Acquire a carton of what is labelled “whipping cream” in the dairy aisle. It’s sometimes called “heavy cream”. Basically, it’s the nastiest and thickest junk Weight Watchers warned you about. Amount? It really doesn’t matter. The more cream you acquire, the more butter you’ll make. For beginners, I recommend 1 quart.

So, I personally believe that it’s possible to burn off as many calories with the next step as the butter has in the first place.

2. Shake the hell out of it. This is where, theoretically, my Olde-Timey butter churner would come in handy, but frankly, that thing’s Olde and Grotesque-y, so I use my KitchenAid Mixer. In my earlier days, I used to shake it by hand in a Ball Jar, and you can too if you need to bulk up your biceps. Me? I try not to combine ‘biceps’ and ‘butter’ in the same sentence. Instead I…

3. Pour the heavy cream into the KitchenAid mixer (or Ball Jar and screw on lid tightly).

4. Start Mixing. If you’re using a Ball Jar, you can expect shaking the thing for about 15-20 minutes nonstop. If you’re using a mixer, turn it on and keep the thing going at a medium to high speed until you begin seeing the cream turn into whipped cream, then turn into yellow, chunky stuff (Yes! Butter!) + a lot of excess liquid (Yes! Whey! Like Little Miss Muffet!). It takes about the same amount of time but with your free hand, you can still indulge in the icy martini.

When your biceps are burning or you mixer is splashing and your heavy cream has turned into yellow junk (butter) + liquidy stuff (whey), you’re ready for the next step:

5. Squish out the whey with a spoon. While it’s tempting at this juncture to start gobbling up your butter, you need to be diligent about using a spoon and squishing out every drop of liquid you can. I’m usually impatient and always regret it. If you don’t squish out all the whey, the butter will go rancid in a day or two. The point is to separate the solid from the liquid, thus making it more preservable. Take your spoon and squish down again and again (for about 10-15 minutes) until every drop of whey ‘sweats’ out of the creamy butter.

— Squish, squish, squish with your spoon. I promise you, there’s something delightful about the process. —

— What makes cream suddenly yellow? I dunno. —

— I own adorable little butter molds but always come back to this tried and true method. —

— Whey is a naturally delicious probiotic drink. —

4. Pour out the whey. Refrigerate the whey and drink it tomorrow for breakfast. It’s fat-free (you can vouch for that!) and it’s got tons of probiotic junk in it.

5. Mold the butter. If you wanna be truly Mo-Sto (aka Martha Stewart) about it, then go to France and buy an adorable French butter mold. If you wanna be White-Trashy about it (like me), then plop your butter onto some plastic wrap, roll it into a log-ish shape, and dump it into the fridge until the morning when it’s hardened.

6. Enjoy at your own risk. Often. Unabashedly. With jam. With steamed peas. Off the spoon. Will your ass get as big and fat as your butter?

My ass seems no worse for the wear.





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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }


I want to kidnap you and your kitchen maid …er…aid forever and ever…buttah mmmmmmm


Jennifer Solow

We’d have fun!! And get deliriously fat. Like housedress fat!



I love butter too….everything just tastes so much better when you add butter…and then olive oil. I honestly never thought it was so easy to make. I am buying a KitchenAid this week!


Jennifer Solow

Don’t forget to squish out every drop of whey. Wen you think you’re done, keep going! And the, wen you think you’re done, keep going!

Have fun!!


Jennifer Solow

Oh and….
Amazon!! They deliver to your pretty door!



This is what I accidentally make when overwhipping double cream. Serves me right! PS I am in the white trash category, despite my close proximity to France. Otherwise it would be too pretty to use. And that would be a shame.


Jennifer Solow

All hail white trash! Trash of all colors, varieties, genders and orientations, in fact! Equal opportunity trash!



Um, excuse me, but the liquid that remains once you get butter is BUTTERMILK! It is not, I repeat, NOT whey. Whey is the liquid that is left when you make CHEESE. Buttermilk obtained while making butter is mighty delicious! And it’s the leanest milk you can get, because, duh, all the fat is in the clump of butter that you just made (as you mentioned). And no, it is NOT the same as the buttermilk you buy at the store. That stuff has been cultured, manufactured, and, in essence, is FAKE.

Once you get your clump of butter, you should be able to just pour out the buttermilk. Then wash the butter with cold water; work it through and pour off the liquid. Do this two or three times, until the water is CLEAR. When it is, then your butter is ready…well, almost! The final step is to work some salt into it. Doing this will help draw out any remaining moisture (and yes, no moisture lessens the chance of it becoming rancid…ewwww, gross). NOW your butter is ready to enjoy.

Also, if possible, aim for locally-sourced, pure heavy cream. If you look at the ingredients of your common-everyday-grocery-chain heavy cream, you’ll see that there’s all kinds of additives that are NOT necessary or natural to any portion of the whole milk process. There are preservatives, things you probably can’t pronounce, various vitamin mixtures, and even carrageenan (aka seaweed). Even the organics are guilty!

BTW I often make my own butter. I use a stoneware historic reproduction 18th/early 19th century churn, complete with a wooden dasher. It’s great fun! HUZZAH!


Jennifer Solow

Thanks, Carolina! Send me a pic of your churn!! I’m a fan of the churn…mine’s just too groaty to use for anything other than posing!


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