Much like the flavor of pasture-raised meats is tough to beat, the flavor of butter made with fresh cream from freely grazing sheep or cows is incomparable to those boxes of butter you can purchase at the store. Making butter at home is much easier than you might think, and the flavor possibilities are seemingly endless. Not only can you control the amount (and type) of salt used, but it’s easy to make sweet and savory butters to accompany many different foods. Plus, you get buttermilk which is perfect for making creamy homemade salad dressings, pancakes, and more!
While just about any type of heavy cream will work for making butter, raw or pasteurized (NOT ultra-pasteurized) creams yield the best results, both for taste and for health. Ask around at your local farmer’s markets and health food stores for cream sources. When considering amounts, keep in mind that the cream to butter ratio is approximately 2:1. In other words, two cups of cream will yield approximately 1 cup of butter.
I make butter once a month or so. It takes me about an hour to make two or three pounds of butter and nearly a quart of buttermilk. I have made butter in my stand mixer, my food processor, and even a Mason jar (great activity for the kids!). My preferred method, however, is to use my blender. It’s faster and less messy. My blender is nothing fancy, just a basic Ninja, so no special equipment is required!