In non-homogenized milk, the cream separates and rises to the top of the milk. This is the part that is sold as "heavy whipping cream" in the store. I'm a huge proponent of raw milk because it is full of the enzymes needed to digest it and so much more. Many people who are lactose intolerant can drink a tall glass of whole, raw milk because the lactase is intact. My husband is living proof! BUT, you don't have to use raw cream to make your own butter. Heavy cream from the store is fine, but admittedly it's probably not saving you any money. BUT, raw butter is so much healthier for you, so if you have access to raw milk I encourage you pour your cream off and try this.
This is a great point to stop and talk about butter. Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions, points out that "the French diet is loaded with saturated fat in the form of butter, eggs, cheese, cream, liver, meats, and rich pates. Yet the French have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than many other western countries" (Nourishing Traditions, 7). She also reports, "A survey of South Carolina adults found no correlation of blood cholesterol levels with "bad" dietary habits, such as use of red meat, animal fats, fried foods, butter, eggs, whole milk, bacon, sausage and cheese. A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease compared to those using margarine" (Nourishing Traditions, 6). I highly encourage you to read this book to find out what is and is not causing the problems in our health! Not only is butter NOT bad for you, it's actually VERY good for you.
Ok, let me get off my soap box to show you how simple this is! :-)
I use a my KitchenAid mixer for this, but you can use a mason jar with lots of shaking. Perfect for the multi-tasker who wants to squeeze in a workout while making butter! I know people who also use their blenders for this. I have a VitaMix, which is really powerful and can actually warm the food so it's not ideal for butter-making, in my opinion.
Here you can see the cream line, the point at which the heavy cream separates from the rest of milk (about a 1% fat content if you pour the cream off the top). The color difference is actually more vivid than the picture shows.
I simply poured my cream off the top of 3 jars into my mixer. I'm using a whisk here only because my paddle needs to be replaced. Many people report making butter inside of 10-15 minutes, but I've never had it work that quickly!! From beginning to end, it takes me about 45 minutes.
I put my mixer on 6, but my friend puts hers on 2 -- both speeds seem to do fine. It's recommended that your cream and bowls be very cold. Pour it in and turn on your mixer.
Shortly, you'll see your cream is doubled and getting thicker. This is the whipping cream stage. Congratulations! Add some sugar and plop it on some berries and almonds. Yum!
Or ... keep going for that butter.
You'll see it go through multiple stages. It will "deflate" at little bit as it moves into the next stage and looks more whipped.
Then it begins to look grainy.
At this point, it's helpful if you have a splash guard on your mixer. As the fat begins to clump, the
"buttermilk" begins to slosh around. It's called buttermilk because it's the part of the milk left over after making butter. Astonishing, right?! Seriously, though, this is NOT the same as cultured buttermilk best known for making pancakes and biscuits. You can use this in place of whey for soaking grains or nuts or in smoothies.
Eventually, the butter will clump together on your whisk.
And it's time to wash! The buttermilk will cause the butter to go rancid faster, so you literally wash the butter with cold water until the water runs clear.
This was my first rinse. You can see how colored the water is. Pour this off, and add fresh water. Continue pressing the butter with your hand or spatula to squeeze out the buttermilk.
Finally, it's time to add salt to taste.
The flecks of color you see are the celtic sea salt. You can tell the difference between real and refined sea salt by its color!
Remember, your butter may or may not be this yellow. My jersey girls are strictly grass fed and are getting lots of it! That gives it the beautiful yellow color you see.
Mold your butter however you prefer. My husband is a pro at molding perfect sticks! And we also have a crock that flips upside down into water to keep it sealed at room temperature. Either way you shape it, it tastes amazing!
Until next time,