Butter can be made at home easily. In the old days, butter was made by using a wooden churn. Cream is the fattiest portion of cows’ milk that is skimmed from the surface. Pioneers poured cream into their churn and beat the cream by hand until the fat molecules separated from the liquid, creating butter and buttermilk. Today, we can replicate the technique using a stand mixer or a hand held mixer. Homemade butter should be wrapped in plastic and can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as store bought butter.
1 quart heavy cream, cold
1. Pour cream into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk.
2. Beat cream on medium speed for about 20 minutes, scraping down the sides frequently, or until the butter separates from the buttermilk.
3. Pour both the butter and buttermilk through cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Discard buttermilk.
4. Wipe out mixer bowl. Return butter to the bowl.
5. Pour a small amount of ice water over the butter. Do not pour in any ice cubes.
6. Using your hands, knead the butter to release any remaining buttermilk. Drain water, and repeat process until the water is clear.
7. If desired, season the butter with salt, honey, herbs, or spices. Transfer to a container, and refrigerate.