by Heather Krasovec
Creator of Food Processor Reviews, uses her extensive experience in food based industries to help consumers make better choices when stocking their kitchens.
Why Make Butter at Home?
Fresh homemade butter is one of the best things you will ever eat. Most people think it is silly to even consider making their own butter when it is so readily available pre-made. I presume those people have never tried this freshly churned delicacy.
Try it once and you'll know what I mean.
The good news is the only special equipment you need to make butter is a food processor. Most cooks realize a food processor is an indispensable kitchen tool and already have one. The process is incredibly easy, nothing like the hard labor associated with hand churning cream.
Now for the ingredient list:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream, very cold
That's right, you only need one ingredient and a few minutes of your time to make fresh homemade butter. The entire process requires agitating the butterfat molecules until they separate from the buttermilk. This agitation can be achieved in many ways, but the food processor is by far the easiest I've seen.
Put the cream into the work bowl of your food processor fitted with a multi-purpose blade. Turn on. After a few minutes the butterfat and buttermilk will separate. The solid portion will form a ball (or balls) and roll around the bowl, very similar to a bread or pasta dough.
The resulting liquid is buttermilk. You'll want to pour it out of the bowl and save it. It's great for pancake or waffle batters.
You are done if you are going to eat the butter immediately. If not, you will need to "clean" the butter so it will keep better. To do this you will leave the butter in the work bowl and add 1/2 cup of very cold water. Turn on again for about 20 seconds. Pour off the water. Repeat this process until the water comes out clear.
There are a few optional variations when making butter. Here are a few of my favorites:
Add Olive Oil
Add 1/4 of extra virgin olive oil to the butter after it is cleaned. Process till well combined. This can be done for two reasons. The first would be health related; many people feel better about eating butter if it's combined with olive oil. The second has to do with softening the butter and making it easier to spread.
Salt is added to butter for two reasons; flavor and shelf life extension. Salt is one of the oldest preservatives used in food. The salt should be added after cleaning. Use the food processor to combine.
There are many herbs that can be used to make herb butter. A few popular choices include basil, sage, thyme, parsley and chives. The chopped herbs should be folded in gently. This stops them from becoming excessively bruised and spoiling too quickly.