How to make your very own butter in the comfort of your own home!
My butter recipe can be made entirely at home with everyday household items. If you would like to make Cultured butter then you will need Starter Culture*. This will add character, complexity and depth of flavour to your butter.
Each starter culture packet has the capacity to be used with up to 250L of milk. Stored in the freezer, you can use it to make cheese as well! Stay tuned for my home cheesemaking recipes.
Starter Culture must be stored in the freezer. When taking your Starter Culture out of the packet, make 100% sure your spoon is dry and scrupulously clean, the last thing you want is to contaminate your Starter. I recommend you decant your Starter into a couple of clean, dry containers. It will only keep for the period stated on the packet (approx. 12 months) if you store correctly.
*Starter Culture: good bacteria that acidifies and solidifies the milk solids in cream.
Starter Culture – I baby teaspoon (as provided) or ¼ household teaspoon (If you’re making cultured butter)
1 Litre Good Quality Cream
Choose cream that is 100% pure and the best quality you can find (40% Butterfat is ideal) We recommend Tweedvale or Alexandrina Cheese Company
ICED Cold Water
Tablespoon Salt (optional)
Blender or handheld mixer
2 – 3 mixing bowls
Greaseproof paper / Baking paper
Here’s how it works:
Sterilise all equipment before starting to avoid contamination! A quick run through the dishwasher or a careful scald with boiling water is perfect.
Heat cream to 21˚C then add ½ tspn Mesophilic Starter Culture, stir through well and leave to ripen for around 6-12 hours (ideally I like to do this overnight.) This will determine the character of the finished butter. After ripening the cream will be thicker and have developed a fragrant aroma and slight acidity. (if the cream is bubbly or has any off aromas it most likely has been contaminated and I suggest you throw it away)
If you do not have Starter Culture, skip this step, and go straight to step 3.
Take the ripened cream and place it in a food processor and begin to whizz until the cream curdles and forms little chunks. Once the entire cream mass is all chunky and ‘crying’ buttermilk, stop processing. You should have chunky cream and a white liquid (this is the buttermilk) in the processor bowl.
Drain off the buttermilk and reserve (I will be sharing buttermilk recipes soon!). With clean hands make a ball of butter. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze to eliminate all butter milk – make sure you continue to squeeze until the butter stops crying buttermilk.
If you leave buttermilk in the butter it will have a shorter shelf life and will develop a rancid taste. Ensure you collect that additional buttermilk.
Transfer to a bath of icy cold water and squeeze some more! You will most likely find the water becomes cloudy – discard this water DO NOT add it to your pure buttermilk. I like to wash one more time – (the butter will be easier to handle when is cooled by the icy water.)
This butter will be unsalted. If making salted butter, now is the time to add salt – ensure the salt is incorporated evenly throughout the butter by kneading gently.
Use decent salt! You have gone to all this trouble so don’t ruin it with poor quality ingredients! Taste your butter now and adjust if needed.
Place butter on small piece of baking paper and shape as desired – a roll looks great and is easy to cut later.
If you would like to add flavourings to your butter, there are two ways to do this:
If you would like to ‘encrust’ your butter with the flavouring, then just roll it in any of the flavourings below.
If you would like to ‘infuse’ your butter with the flavouring, gently knead the ingredient into the butter. Try not to overwork it.
NOTE: you can freeze butter very successfully and it will keep for around one month. Place in an air tight container to avoid it picking up other aromas that might be lingering in your freezer and to prevent that fridgy taste. Eugh.
Honey – I like to start by adding a teaspoon and tasting from there. This is YUMMY with pancakes, scones or on date loaf.
Mint – fresh or dried, use as much as you like – Pop in the fridge to cool and frim (overnight is best), then cut it into discs and freeze in a container* (separating each disc with baking paper). When I do my famous roast dinners I simply take a frozen disc and put on top of my piping hot peas!!
Chilli – add fresh or dried, as hot as you like it. I repeat the above when I am cooking corn on the cob. Simply add a disc from the freezer to steaming hot corn. YUM!
Tarragon – Fresh or dried, great with chicken or ontop of a steak instead of gravy. Or with gravy.
Garlic – You can combine this with parsley if you like and have it ready for your baguette to make garlic bread. If you haven’t used fresh Australian Organic Garlic yet – get on it! To make good food you need great ingredients!
BOOZE – You can get super fancy and infuse your butter with Gin, Whiskey, Beer or Brandy. If you decide to do this, I suggest washing your butter with your beverage of choice after the second wash. Whiskey Butter is superb with steak and also delicious to cook mushrooms
Thyme and Lemon Zest– this is such a good combination and is perfect tossed through pasta before you add some succulent cooked prawns.
Don’t be afraid to try some new flavours – taste as you go, be creative, and let us know what you do!
*CLC TIP: Whenever cutting butter, have a thin bladed knife, and a jug of boiling water on hand. By heating the knife beforehand, it will glide through the butter, like a knife through butter. Perfect little discs.