Today we are going to talk about making butter in larger quantities. The jar method is fantastic for making a quarter to half a pound of butter. It’s my favorite way to make butter for a special dinner, or if I’m in a hurry and don’t want to wash my food processor.
However, if I want to make a pound or more, or if I’m making butter to freeze, I prefer to use a food processor. I have a large one, and it will hold half a gallon of cream at a time.
Here’s how I make it.
I prefer the regular old chopping blade, although the dough blade makes a softer, more spreadable butter. Simply pour your cream into the food processor and turn it on. Within seconds you should start to see a thick foam. Please pardon the hard water stains on my food processor. Farm life is glamorous, folks.
After about twenty minutes, you will get…
Now, the next step (as we mentioned in Part 1) is to remove all traces of buttermilk from your butter. You can, of course, simply place your butter in a jar, cover with cold water, and shake, just as we did in Part 1. But I like to use a salad spinner.
The pressure helps to remove the buttermilk, and it doesn’t use nearly as much water as other kinds of rinsing. If your salad spinner has larger holes, just line it with butter muslin or cheese cloth.
Once again, you’ll want to continue to rinse and spin until the water runs clear. Pressing on the butter is good too; you can use your hands, the back of a big wooden spoon, or special butter paddles to press out more buttermilk and give your butter a pretty shape. I’ve used butter paddles here.
You can also use a cheese mold and press, if you have one. I’ve used mine and it does a beautiful job, but works best with 2-3 pounds of butter at a time.
It’s worth noting that if you are serious about making your own butter (if you have your own cows or goats, for example) you may want to spend the money and invest in a decent butter churn. A food processor works well and a jar is cheap and efficient, but neither are designed for long term use or large amounts of butter. A basic, non electric butter churn can be found for around $150, and a motorized version can be had for less than $300. With either in your arsenal, you’ll be able to turn 1-2 gallons of heavy cream into butter at one time, and you won’t risk burning out a valuable piece of kitchen equipment that, if you’re like me, you use all the time.
A little PS about Cultured Butter
First, everyone needs to try cultured butter at least once. It is amazing, great for your belly, and is the most intensely buttery butter you will ever have, because one of the byproducts of fermentation is diacetyl, which produces a creamy, buttery flavor.
Second, every single time I have made cultured butter in my food processor, the butter grains have been SMALLER than when I have made sweet butter. If you are making cultured butter in your food processor, you may want to use the dough blade and you almost definitely want to use a piece of butter muslin during the draining and rinsing steps.