Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cultured Butter

I recently went on an adventure and decided to make all of our butter! Raw butter that I love is a little expensive where I am, so I just buy the less expensive raw cream and make my own. (Note: I use good quality pasteurized stick butter for baking needs, and use the raw stuff for buttering bread and pancakes.)


The only camera I currently have is the one on my phone... so please pardon the lack of original pictures!

The above picture is Piima cream (pronounced "pee-ma"). This is the culture I used for my butter, and the flavor is excellent! You can buy a very reasonably priced piima starter culture from

You can also use cream fraiche, or home soured cream, or just regular sweet cream.

For cultured butter you must culture your cream first -- it's very simple and, if you go with piima, your culture comes with instructions on how to do this. (If anyone wants instructions on how to make cream fraiche, let me know and I'll make a post about it.)

Culturing cream requires your cream to sit at room temperature for roughly 24 hours, (in my kitchen it took closer to 32 because of temperature variations). You will want to put your cream in the refrigerator for a few hours after that to thicken. It makes your butter easier to handle.

After your cream has thickened, you simply put it in some kind of food processor, and using the pulse button mix the cream. You can use egg beaters even -- just as long as there is vigorous motion happening in the cream.

In very few moments you will see the butter separating from the buttermilk. Pour off the buttermilk and save -- it is excellent for baking! It is very important to note that your butter will continue to exude buttermilk for a while. You can use cheese cloth, or just your bare hands, to mould and press your butter. Pressing is important to release any excess buttermilk. You may want to press your butter under cold running tap water to keep the butter more easily handle-able.

Now just put the beautiful butter in a container and use as you will!

Note: If you prefer salted butter, wait until your butter and buttermilk have first separated. Pour off the the buttermilk, and then, while the butter is still in the food processor, add salt to your liking, and agitate a few more times to mix the salt throughout. Proceed with pressing as per above instructions.

Our ancestors used one of these little babies to make butter:

It's a butter churn! They would pour in the cream through the top, and then using the handle sticking through the lid they would plunge the dickens out of the cream. (Inside the churn connected to the handle is a + made of wood, which acted as the agitator.)


  1. As kids my mom would put cream into a jar with the lid on tight and let us roll it around on the carpet to each other or toss it to each other. It was fun and we always got a kick out of using the butter that "we" made. :)

    1. We used to make butter that way when I was little!! Good memories!

  2. How is it that your raw cream is cheaper than just buying raw butter!? I understand that it takes a couple pints of cream to yield a pound of butter. I can buy a pound for only a few dollars more than one pint of raw cream... not true up your way?

    But WOW, you made your own, you domestic goddess!! I'm going to try it sometime, even if it costs a bit more.

    Also, I know cooking with buttermilk is amazing, but don't you shudder a bit to cook that wonderful raw buttermilk? Couldn't you throw it in a smoothie instead or something? I've never had raw buttermilk around, so I don't know what else you'd do with it. Drink it?

    If anyone can't get raw cream or butter, our favorite pasteurized butter is Kerrygold, from Irish grass-fed cows. SO delicious.

    Since we've been using raw butter, I've stopped buying any salted all together (I usually top off my toast with a shake of sea salt). Now when I have salted butter somewhere, I'm shocked at the saltiness!

    1. It costs about $8 to make my raw butter, raw butter already made is $12 per lb here. Plus I have the cultured buttermilk after which is nice :) I confess, I don't know if I could ever drink the stuff! I drink whey, which really isn't that different. There's just something about the smell of buttermilk... But about the baking, I figure, if I have it, and a recipe calls for it, why not use it? I don't keep pasteurized buttermilk anyway. It's like the raw cheese thing -- we prefer the taste of the raw cheese I get, and the price is comparable, so I use that for all our cooked and non-cooked needs. All of the milk products in my kitchen are raw, save certain cheeses for Joe's sandwiches at lunch, Joe's special milk, and my stick butter for baking (because the raw butter is so expensive).