Homemade butter is probably something you never thought you could make. Too hard or too time consuming, you may think. But if you’ve ever accidentally over-whipped your cream until it looks slightly curdled (and I think we all have), you may be surprised to hear that you’ve actually already made butter. While butter used to be a tedious and time consuming process, nowadays we have helpful tools like blenders and stand mixers than can whip up a batch of butter in minutes.
Unlike sweet cream butter which uses fresh cream, European-style or cultured butter has a remarkable richness and depth of flavor that can’t be matched: the complex, tangy flavor that comes from the culturing process is well worth the extra 6 hours if you can bear to wait that long. If you’ve ever been to France and indulged in some of their amazing butter (seriously, I could live on French butter), then you know how amazing cultured butter is… regular, store-bought butter just can’t compare. The other secret of French butter? Salt. Sure, you can leave your homemade butter unsalted, but unless you are baking with it, I highly recommend you add salt, as it’ll take your butter to a whole other level.
I’ve seen recipes that use fresh yogurt or buttermilk as their starter, but after my mediocre yogurt-making experience, I chose to use straight mesophilic culture (if you’re curious, I got a butter making kit on amazon that has everything you need to get started, culture included). This gets added to the fresh cream then left at room temperature for 6 hours. Sure enough… it will thicken and have a slightly sour smell very similar to yogurt.
After that all it takes is a quick whir in the blender, followed by a series of rinses to remove excess buttermilk (I find this to be the most tedious part of the whole process, but it’s an important one, as butter that’s not thoroughly rinsed will spoil quicker). Basically you want to keep rinsing your butter with fresh, cold water until the liquid runs clear. Be patient with it, it’ll come around, I promise.
Now, what to do with all your amazing homemade butter once you’ve made it? Make toast, of course. Since we’re following in the French tradition anyway with our cultured butter, we may as well copy them as well and make butter sandwiches. Yes, the French butter their sandwiches before they add meat and cheese (I knew I liked the French). Top your toasted and generously buttered crusty bread with a few slices of soft brie cheese and jambon de Bayonne (French prosciutto). You can also take the same idea South to Italy, with prosciutto and pecorino cheese, or West to Spain, with ibérico or serrano ham and manchego cheese.
Butter is universal.
Homemade European-Style Butter
- 2 cups heavy cream, room temperature (65-68ºF)
- 1/8 teaspoon mesophilic culture (optional, for cultured butter. Can be purchased where cheese-making supplies are sold)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or butter salt (optional, for salted butter)
- Stir mesophilic culture into room temperature cream (65-68ºF). Lightly cover and place in a warm dry spot for 6 hours or until thickened. If the cream has warmed over 68ºF, refrigerate until it drops back down to temperature (it will not properly churn if it is too warm). If you just want to make regular sweet cream butter, you can skip this step.
- Place room-temperature cream in the pitcher of your KitchenAid® 5-Speed Diamond Blender and secure lid.
- Get the full recipe on the Kitchenthusiast blog »
This recipe was created in partnership with KitchenAid®. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.