Homemade butter for a winter feast (it’s easy)

February 19, 2009 | By | Comments (3)

Just buzz cream in a food processor



As crops for our winter one-block feast get bigger, we’re getting serious about the payoff: dinner! And to go with all the vegetable-centric dishes we’ve been dreaming up, we’ve gotta have good bread and butter.

Wheat we know about—we grew it for making beer. As for the cow, we don’t have her just yet, but we’re working on the details. Cow_2
I kid you not: we’re looking into going in on a “cow share” so we can get good local milk and cream. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, we’re experimenting making butter with cream from the store.

I’ve tried making butter in little jars with preschoolers. The idea is they shake and shake the cream, and after awhile, it forms a dab of wonderfully sweet butter and some sweet buttermilk, and then they understand where butter comes from, and get to slather it on a cracker, and become lifetime supporters of the dairy industry. Right?

As it turns out, their hot little hands warm up the cream so it doesn’t clump into butter, their wrists tire out, and pretty soon, you have a lot of moms shaking jars.

In fact there’s a much easier way to go: a food processor.

Just pour in the cream, and let ‘er rip.

In a couple of minutes, voilà—the cream separates into
buttermilk and little clumps of butter that look like fluffy scrambled
eggs, then the clumps form a bigger mass of butter

Next you pour everything into a strainer and squeeze the rest of the milk from the butter. This just takes a few minutes.

The butter is incredibly sweet and fresh tasting—and no tedious shaking required. You can use the milk in any recipe where you’d use plain milk—maybe some good homemade bread.

P.S. If you want to make butter this way with kids, just be sure to keep their fingers away from the sharp food processor blade.

Sweet homemade butter

MAKES 1 cup butter and 1 cup sweet buttermilk TIME 10 minutes

Here’s your chance to ignore all those rules you ever learned about not overbeating whipping cream. Commercial butter has small amounts of culture added, so when you make your own, it tastes extra sweet and fresh.

1 pt. whipping cream
Kosher salt (optional)

1. Whirl cream in a food processor until it separates into buttermilk and clumps of butter that look like fluffy scrambled eggs, then keep whirling until butter forms bigger clumps; this takes 1 to 2 minutes total.

2. Set a fine strainer over a bowl. Pour milk and butter into strainer and let drain briefly. Squeeze butter with your hands to extract remaining milk (it’s okay if there’s a little left).

3. Turn butter into another bowl and stir in salt to taste, if you like.


  1. Vicki

    Can I use fat free, skim milk, in place of cream?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:16 pm
  2. Ruth Bernstein

    How much does one pint of cream make? How does it compare to one pound of butter? Would it be 1/4th, 1/2, 3/4s, or one pound?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:35 am
  3. Sheila Schmitz

    What IS it about mixing that turns cream in to butter??? Did they tell us this in grade school?

    June 19, 2009 at 6:49 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s