freshly churned butter


My equally food obsessed co-worker Suneeta came into my office one day, and, as usual, the conversation turned to food.  She mentioned an article in the New York Times from a few years back about how to make butter at home.  Within seconds we were devouring every word of this article.  The shocking conclusion? All you need to make your own freshly churned butter at home is whipping cream and a KitchenAid.  I couldn’t believe it.  How did I not know this before?!  For days afterward I could not get the idea of freshly churned butter out of my head {for me, a food idea, once conceived, becomes an obsession}.  Suneeta was the first to make a batch, which she brought into the office for me to taste – it was perfection.  Infinitely better than most supermarket butters, and I dare say, better even than the fancy European butters I buy from Whole Foods on occasion.  The following weekend, I made my own, and I cannot tell you how simple, yet oddly satisfying the process is in a self-sufficient, Oregon Trail sort of way {minus the KitchenAid, of course}.  Literally, before my eyes the whipping cream turned to whipped cream, then to a pebbly/pie-dough-like consistency, then finally the mixture split to form butter and buttermilk, slowly becoming a deeper pale yellow with each passing minute.  It was creamy, mellow, subtly sweet, gloriously perfect butter.

I flavored two-thirds of my freshly churned butter with fleur de sel and one-third with white truffles from Oregon I found at Far West Fungi – an entire shop dedicated to all things mushroom – which I used to create Ina’s amazing tagliarelle with truffle butter. However, the possibilities are absolutely endless – you could add herbs {a dill and chive butter would be delicious on salmon}, spices {a cinnamon honey butter would be lovely on a fresh biscuit}, and citrus zests {a chile lemon butter would be amazing on white fish or chicken}.  An added bonus?  This method also produces fresh buttermilk, which I used to make honey buttermilk panna cottas.

If you own a KitchenAid, you simply must try this.  A beautiful thing about this recipe {if you can call it that} is that it is comprised of one ingredient – whipping cream – so you could easily vary the quantity to produce as much or as little butter as your heart desires.  In the posts to come, I will share ideas of how I used my butter, but perhaps the most beautifully simple way to showcase the butter would be on a fresh baguette with strawberry jam.

Recipe continued after the jump…


From the New York Times

6 cups organic heavy cream

Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Tightly cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and start mixer on medium-high speed. The cream will go through the whipped stage, thicken further and then change color from off-white to pale yellow; this will take at least 5 to 8 minutes. When it starts to look pebbly, it’s almost done. After another minute the butter will separate, causing the liquid to splash against the plastic wrap. At this point stop the mixer.  {Note: the whisking process took me about 13 minutes total}.

Set a strainer over a bowl. Pour the contents of the mixer into the strainer and let the buttermilk drain through. Strain the buttermilk again, this time through a fine-mesh sieve set over a small bowl; set aside.

Keeping the butter in the strainer set over the first bowl, knead it to consolidate the remaining liquid and fat and expel the rest of the buttermilk. Knead until the texture is dense and creamy, about 5 minutes. Strain the excess liquid into the buttermilk. Refrigerate the buttermilk.

If desired, mix fleur de sel or any other flavorings into the butter. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Makes about 16 ounces {2 cups} each of butter and buttermilk.








Thank you very much for reading!

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18 Responses to freshly churned butter

  1. Anne says:

    Oh my goodness, that is brilliant! I didn’t know all you need is a stand mixer and heavy cream. Will have to give this a try. Man, you can make all sorts of compound butter with this. I look forward to your post on what you do with this. Thanks for sharing Lindsay.

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  4. Pingback: Homemade Butter « Uni Homemaker

  5. Pot & Pie says:

    Brilliant idea! We can’t buy buttermilk in the shops where I live, so this is twice as useful for me 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  6. Emily Horn says:

    This is amazing! It’s so simple, I was shocked. I decided to experiment with the finished product and made a honey cinnamon butter and a savory herb spread. They were both delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe and all of your other wonderful creations – love your blog!! 🙂

  7. Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Kudos!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words! I started out on but I believe is free and may be a great place to start. Generally, is much more “user friendly” for people that don’t do their own coding (CSS) but you are more limited in what you can do in terms of formatting and what not. When I first started out, I used a template (Manifesto), which I selected because of its simplicity and cleanness, but ultimately, that template was a little limited. For example, I couldn’t change the settings to allow for 2 panes instead of 1. You can always switch things around once you have started, so you should never feel locked into anything. Hope that helps! Best of luck to you!

  8. Dan says:

    I’m so glad to have stumbled onto this, and not just for the farm-fresh butter, but for the buttermilk. I’m old enough to remember when churned buttermilk was widely available in most markets which sell dairy. I don’t hate the buttermilk which is now available, but I’m thrilled there’s a way to have it the old-fashioned, and probably much better, way. I often freeze unsalted, commercial butter, and that seems to work very well. Any idea how freezable this butter would be?

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Hi Dan! Thank you for stopping by! The buttermilk produced through this method is very good – I actually used it to make buttermilk panna cottas, but didn’t take a picture of them, unfortunately! I would think that this butter, unsalted and without any additions, would freeze well if tightly sealed in a reliable container, although I have to admit I didn’t have any left over to freeze! It was consumed very quickly in our home. Hope that helps! Do let me know what you think about this method, and the quality of the buttermilk it produces!

  9. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!

    It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks for

  10. Here in Denmark we usually make butter from soured cream, which — I suppose — is responsible for the authentic European taste. I buy discounted whipping cream that is about to, but haven’t yet reached, end of shelf life. Often I get 50% discount or more. I then add a squirt of buttermilk (which is sour here in Denmark) or some yoghurt to the cream and let it go sour at ambient temperature. This takes 1-2 days, and now a have a batch of delicious sour cream, and I proceed as explained in the blog post. The buttermilk from this process is perfect for tangy pancakes, or you can just drink it as is.

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