Butter for Bill

What do you do with the cream from a gallon of raw milk every week when you don’t want to drink whole milk? Make butter. Or ice cream. But I can’t make ice cream every week because the problem is Bill and I eat it! As with ice cream, we can store butter in the freezer but it doesn’t seem to call to us the way ice cream does!

When I made butter from raw milk the first time, it was a near catastrophe. I had read about how to do it on the web, consulted with a friend, and gave it a go–using first my KitchenAid mixer, then a food processor, and finally a blender. I was able to salvage a couple tablespoons of butter at least, and the best part was I saved the buttermilk to use in our oatcake recipe. In the end, I thought of two possible things I did wrong: used milk that was too fresh and too cold. I also determined the blender is the best tool for the job.

So the next time I made the butter it was about four days after getting a fresh batch of milk. After separating the cream from the milk, I left it out on the counter for an hour or so. This batch yielded about two cups of cream.

I dumped all of it into my KitchenAid blender and ran it on “Mix” (a medium speed) for–no joke–less than five minutes.

After a couple minutes I looked inside to see if any solids (fat particles) were clinging to the blender cover. Once this happens, you’re pretty close. I ran it another minute or so more to make sure I had some substance in the bottom of the blender.

Then I used a slotted spoon to put the butter into a bowl, and strained the remaining fat using a sieve.

I saved the buttermilk for pancakes and then, using a spoon, pressed the butterfat into the bowl to squeeze the milk out. This is how much buttermilk I had.

I put the bowl of butter in the fridge, covered it with wax paper, and let it set a few hours, then rinsed it with cold water, again pressing the butter against the bowl to get the liquid out.

You could add salt to your butter if you want but I don’t in case I find a recipe that calls for unsalted butter. Some people add herbs or honey—there are lots of options if you want fancy butter for bread or a special recipe.

Then I packaged up my butter by rolling it in wax paper and marking it with the date it was made. I store these packages in a Ziplock bag in the freezer for future use.

Why is this post called “Butter for Bill”? Because, ever since we learned that some people with cow dairy allergies can digest raw milk, we invested in a cow share so we can get raw milk every week. He’s been able to enjoy more dairy products and recipes that have milk in them, as long as it’s raw. Ice cream, buttermilk pancakes, and butter are all treats he can now eat, thanks to this recent discovery. And me? I just love the taste of raw milk in my coffee every morning!

I’m so glad I was able to figure out the butter-making process using one of my appliances because I was about ready to go find me an old-fashioned butter churn!

2 responses to “Butter for Bill

  1. g2-94161d657cba79c39f460cec88f0c4b2

    Very interesting, Marcia! I had no idea that it could be that easy. I think of the old butter churns…

    • I didn’t think it would be that easy either–especially after my first attempt! Thanks for your comment, Vicki!

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