Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Butter Churn

Home Made Butter
This is completely off topic, unless using a vintage kitchen tool counts.  The tool in question is a Dandy Jar Churn.  It was a special gift that makes me feel good every time I use it for the "I did it myself" quality.  Have you ever wanted to make your own butter with a jar churn?  If you have one (or know someone who does) here's how.
You will need:
*Jar Churn 
*1/2 gallon whipping cream (1.89L)
*1/2 to 3/4 Tsp salt if desired.
*Flat wooden spoon
*Large bowl
*container to hold butter when done

"Dandy" Jar Churn
 Notes:  I get the cream at Costco.  The wooden spoon is the type used for rice.  Some people use a masher to clear the milk from the butter.

Making the Butter
Bring cream to room temperature, not cold.  Approx. 50 dregree F.  (Thanks to Dora for this help - cold cream takes longer).  Fill jar churn half way.  Do not fill it more, as the cream with expand during the process.   Turn the handle fairly quickly.  This will take about about 15 minutes to be done.  Several stages happen with the cream during this time.  The first is the cream gets frothy and expands.
First stage of churning.

The cream next becomes very stiff, like whipped cream.  It's hard to keep turning but don't give up now!

 Next it will become a little more milky and then suddenly you can see the butter.  It looks like grain or granules of butter.  You can stop now.

You can stop when it looks like this.  The buttermilk has separated from the butter.

Next, clear the buttermilk from the butter.  It is important to do this thoroughly as any milk left behind will become rancid and spoil.  I do this by draining buttermilk into a jar ( about 2 1/2 cups) and the butter granules into a large bowl.
Rinsing the butter.
  Add cold  water and swish it around to release the excess milk.    Pour out water and fill bowl again.  Continue by using the wooden spoon to press down butter and press out excess water.  Repeat this until the water runs clear.

Remove all small amounts of excess water out by pressing with the spoon and tapping the butter with a paper towel.

Add salt to taste, if desired.  Mix with spoon completely.  Start with 1/4 tsp and add more in small amounts from there.  (I usually go a little over 1/2 tsp.)

Scoop into your mold.

I used muffin tins this time but many things can work.  A glass covered casserole or Tupperware for example.  The finished amount is about 25 oz.  This try was not so easy.  I had to use a small knife to remove them, argh.  I does give a nice shape and size though at 2.5 oz each and 1/3 cup in measure.  I still search for the perfect mold.  Perhaps a rubber one.  Place any molded butter into a refrigerator to harden before removing.
Good idea, but did not work so well.

Wrapped in wax paper and stored in refrigerator.

 So creamy and yummy.  It comes out a lovely color and flavor. 


  1. Great tutorial. I grew up making butter.
    Perfect temperature for the cream: 50 degrees F.= butter within 10-15 minutes.
    Perfect molds: any of the DeMarle at Home Flexitrays.
    I too find the highest quality, purest cream at Costco.

  2. How cool! The only time I've made butter was in home ec class in 7th grade, long, long time ago. My editorial eye caught a typo (soap instead of butter) in the next to last sentence. You a soap-maker, too?

  3. Vicki, you caught me. Yes, I am a soap maker, that must have been a Freudian slip as they say. Long time soap maker, almost as long as sewing - over 20 years. I'll change it!
    Dora, thanks for the help. I'm going to try the trays and temp, as my arm was getting tired. I had forgotten as it had been so long since I last did this.

  4. Dora you are right. A little warmer cream makes it go faster. I changed the text. Thanks again!

  5. Years ago, we had a Jersey cow. People asked me what I added to the cream to get such yellow butter. We didn't add anything, Jerseys just make bright yellow butter. I miss having homemade butter, cream, milk, etc.