If you’ve ever over-whipped heavy cream, taking it past the point of no return, don’t throw it away. On the other side of broken is homemade butter.
With just two ingredients and a mixer, you can make fresh, creamy butter at home in about 23 minutes. Either a standing mixer with a whip attachment, a handheld mixer with a whip attachment or the standard beater blades can be used and will produce the same results, give or take a minute.
The cream will go through a series of quiet changes on its journey from liquid to solid, with a dramatic finale before becoming butter. Once your butter is ready, reserve a portion for compound butter — butter that has been mixed with herbs, spices or other aromatics and added to recipes before serving for additional flavor, or used as a spread.
Homemade butter recipe
Yields 1/4 cup butter
- 1 pint organic heavy cream, chilled
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, add heavy cream. Using a hand mixer, beat cream on medium speed. The cream will start off frothy and then begin to thicken; increase speed to high and watch for the following stages:
- Coats the back of a spoon, but still runny
- Almost soft peaks
- Soft peaks
- Stiff peaks
- Begins to break into whipped pebble-like pieces — it will stay at this stage for quite a while.
- Listen for a slosh. As soon as you hear this, immediately turn off the mixer. Fat and water physically separate and the butter is left sitting in a pool of buttermilk.
- Transfer mixture to a colander; drain buttermilk and, if desired, reserve. Squeeze any remaining buttermilk from butter; let butter stand in colander five minutes. Transfer butter to a medium glass or ceramic bowl; add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate up to 14 days.
Note: Reserved buttermilk is full of protein and can be added to smoothies, soups, sauces or used in baking recipes that call for buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate up to seven days.
Herb citrus compound butter recipe
Yields 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup homemade butter, room temperature
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 sage leaves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- Zest of one large orange (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, garlic, shallot, sage, thyme, rosemary, zest, salt and pepper; let stand 15 minutes.
- Transfer butter to a large sheet of parchment paper. Roll and wrap butter in parchment to form a log; secure ends with tape or kitchen twine. Refrigerate one hour or until compound butter is firm. Keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator up to seven days.
Note: Use a few tablespoons of the compound butter to flavor fish, poultry, beef or steamed vegetables.