Home-Made Butter: Worth it?

A couple nights ago, after the kids went to bed, Jason and I sat up reading for an hour or two.  I was reading one of my favorite novels and he was reading something a bit more practical.  His book was called “Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills.”  Now, those of you who know my husband know that this is a totally normal thing for him to be reading.  But he made a comment that there is a recipe in the book for home made butter.  And cream cheese.  It peeked my interest and made me curious.  So I decided to give it a try.  I had no idea how long it was going to take so I wasn’t really planning on trying it for a while.  You know, plan a day when I would have time and when I knew the kids would have other entertainments besides following my every footstep.  However, last week, as many know, we were home bound with my poor little Garion sick in bed with the flu.  What better time to experiment in the kitchen than when you can’t go anywhere.  Turns out, making butter is the easiest thing I have ever done in the kitchen.

The first thing I did was google a recipe for home made butter, made with the Kitchen Aid.  I have a great deal of respect for the women in the old days who use to churn it by hand, but I just don’t have that kind of time or motivation when we have been blessed with modern technology.  🙂  I found a recipe almost immediately on Recipezaar.  The exact link is http://www.recipezaar.com/Homemade-Butter-for-the-Kitchen-Aid-199638.  My next step, after reading the ridiculously simple instructions was to go to the store to buy whipping cream.  However, since Garion was still not really out of bed, I had Jason stop at the store on his way home.  After the kids went to bed, we made our butter.

Step One:  Pour whipping cream into Kitchen Aid with a couple granules kosher salt.  We bought a pint of cream, but only used half of it.)

Step Two: Turn on Medium to High speed.  (Take a nap.)

Step Three: After about fifteen minutes, the butter forms and separates from the buttermilk.  Turn off Kitchen Aid.  We got a bit more than 1/2 cup butter.  Which is also 4 oz or 1/4 pound.  About a rounded spoonful more.

*You can stop here if you want to.  Take your butter out and store in an air tight container.  However, we continued because I wanted to keep the buttermilk to make cinnamon rolls with.

Step Four: Squeeze butter in cheesecloth to remove the last of the buttermilk.  We got 1 cup of buttermilk.

Step Five: Enjoy!

The butter turned out pretty good.  It tastes like butter. 🙂  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was just normal butter.  I was proud of us and happy that we could make it and have it be every bit as good as what we can buy in the store.  I think next time I will add just a bit more salt.  I also think the butter would be better if we used farmers cream instead of the pasteurized stuff from the store.  But I will have to do some research to figure out where to get my hands on that kind of cream.  There are enough farmers in our area here that I am sure it can’t be too hard.

Jason and I were also speculating on the cost comparison of home made butter to store bought butter.  One pint of cream will yield about 1/4 pound of butter and about 1 cup buttermilk.  At our local grocer right now you can get one pound or 16oz of Land O Lakes butter (on sale) for $1.99.  A quart of buttermilk at the store costs about $2.85.   So to buy one pound of store made butter and 2 cups of buttermilk you are spending about $4.85.  Our local grocer also has regular 10 for $10 sales where the whipping cream goes on sale, bu I can’t remember if it is the pints or the quarts that go on sale.  If you wait for the sale, and buy your cream at $1 per pint (if it is the pints that go on sale), then you can get a little more than 1/4 pound of butter  and 1 cup buttermilk for $1.  Which then equals 16 oz or 1 pound butter and 4 cups buttermilk for $4.  That is a pretty good deal.  A little more cost on the butter, but twice as much buttermilk and then your homemade bread (or cinnamon rolls in our case) are that much better!

Anyway, it is completely dependant on the sales on whipping cream, but if you can find the cream at the right price, it is worth making the butter.  It is so simple and really pretty fun!  The left over buttermilk is an added bonus.  Enjoy!