Calgary

Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: Make your own butter

Homemade butter takes approximately 10 minutes, and the result is pure, delicious, sweet or salted butter that's on par with fancy imports that come with a hefty price tag.

It's not that difficult to make your own creamy, pure butter

Making your own butter takes about 10 minutes. ( Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Canadians have been talking about butter lately, noticing it has changed in texture — it's firmer at room temperature than it used to be, not always spreadable or easily beaten straight from the cupboard.

Regardless of whether this is an issue for you and your baking projects, making your own butter is a good idea — particularly when you have (ahem) extra time at home, or have perhaps mastered sourdough.

Homemade butter takes approximately 10 minutes, and the result is pure, delicious, sweet or salted butter that's on par with fancy imports that come with a hefty price tag.

Make your own butter

Whip or blend the butter until it starts to change consistency. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Ingredients:

Pick up some heavy whipping cream. At the grocery store, most whipping cream is 33-36 per cent milk fat (or butter fat — the two terms are interchangeable), but if you can find smaller bottles of heavy cream from Vital Green Farms, an organic dairy farm out in Picture Butte, it's a whopping (wonderful) 52 per cent milk fat.

The cream will start to break down, and then get splashy as the fat coagulates into butter, separating from the watery buttermilk. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Instructions:

All you need to do is agitate your cream until the butter fat separates from the buttermilk — whip it, beat it, shake it, process it… use a stand mixer or hand beaters, a food processor or even a jar.

Try to get as much of the buttermilk as possible out of the butter. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Whip, shake or blend your cream until it's stiff, then keep on going… eventually it will start to break down, and then get splashy as the fat coagulates into butter, separating from the watery buttermilk. 

Continue to do this until you have a lump of what looks like butter, sitting in a pool of buttermilk. (You can pour the buttermilk off, save it and use it in pancakes and such.)

Wash your butter in a bowl of ice water, changing out the water to keep it clear. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Transfer the butter to a bowl and work it with the back of a spoon, pressing it up against the side of the bowl, to extract as much buttermilk as you can. If you like, add a big pinch of salt — to your taste — and work it in.

If you leave it out, you'll have what's often referred to as sweet (unsalted) butter.

The butter will last longer if you are able to squeeze out all the buttermilk, and then wash the butter with clean water. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

You can then wash your butter. Put the lump into a bowl of ice-cold water and squeeze it to work out any residual buttermilk, which will make it go rancid faster.

If you like, change the cold water as it gets cloudy, until it runs clear.

Shape your butter into a log and wrap it in parchment, or into a ramekin to store in the fridge.

There you go — you made your own butter! Keep it in the fridge for up to a few weeks, depending how much buttermilk you've managed to extract, if you manage to not eat it all spread on saltines. 

Our food guide Julie van Rosendaal breaks down the hard story about not-so-soft butter. 7:55

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now