It isn’t like I’m completely clueless. I know that generations and generations have made butter before the invention of Albertsons. But I also knew that they did it with one of those wooden churning contraptions. And, to be quite honest, I’ve never even seen one of those in real life.
I happened to be sitting at the dinner table eating this delicious Shepherd’s Pie Soup when suddenly I had an epiphany. (Seriously, it was like angels sang. The soup was that good.) I realized that, hey, I’ve learned to make a whole lot more random things… I wonder… and YES, Google pulled through and within seconds I had a recipe for butter. And not only that, but the simplest recipe known to man! All you need is fresh heavy cream. No kidding. That is all you need. (Unless you want salted butter in which case, yes, salt would indeed need to be involved.) But, other than that, seriously, it’s just cream (and a lot of patience).
The recipe that I picked from thehungrymouse.com called for heavy cream. I was so excited to start making my butter, though, that I ran straight out to the store and accidentally grabbed plain ole whipping cream (*see note below), but it was still awesome. (In the literally awe-inspiring sense of the word.) I imagine using the heavy cream version would make it illegal.
Verdict: Homemade butter = H.E.A.V.E.N.
The downside? It isn’t cheap. I spent about $7-8 for 6 cups of cream and it made about as much as those small margarine tubs. But, it was also infinitely better than anything I’ve bought in a store too, so there’s a trade off.
For detailed instructions check out thehungrymouse’s very thorough tutorial.
If anyone needs me I’ll be in the kitchen searching for more things I can put butter on.
* Cooking Light tells me that the difference between whipping cream and heavy whipping cream is the percentage of milk fat. The heavy whipping cream contains 36% milkfat and regular whipping cream is a little lighter at 30% milkfat. This is why it took so ridiculously long to make my butter (about 20-25 minutes when the instructions said it would take about 10 minutes).