Pop culture enthusiast and home chef. I love creating delicious and eye-catching meals, and I love a theme.
It's Trendy to Make Your Own Butter
It's hard to deny that butter is having a moment. While 2020 may have been the year of banana bread and sourdough starter, it's butter that everyone is talking about now.
And now, we might be facing the unthinkable ahead of the holiday season: a butter shortage.
That's why right now is the perfect time to start making homemade butter. Honestly, once you taste how next level the homemade stuff is, you may never go back to store-bought again.
Butter Board Trend
Being on the brink of a butter shortage isn't the only reason to start whipping heavy cream. You've likely seen some variation of a butter board pop up on your "For Your Page" over the past month. If not, think of it like the anti-charcuterie. Instead of mixed cheeses, meats, crackers and fruits—it's, well, a mound of butter on a board. The butter is garnished with various herbs and honey and served with warm bread.
The butter board trend has sparked hot debate: How bad for you is it? Is it sanitary? Does it ruin the cutting board? Do people want this?? The questions... are endless.
Butter Service at Quality Bistro
It's hard to argue though, that a plate of soft butter served with accoutrements is a delectable treat. At Quality Bistro in Manhattan, they are famous for serving "butter service," a unique offering that is both spectacle and treat.
It is what can only be described as the OG butter board; the butter is served tableside (not unlike tableside guacamole at your favorite Mexican restaurant). From a giant butter cone, the butter is scraped off on to a marble plate, flavored with flaky salt, shallots and chili flakes and served alongside fresh radishes, greens and cornichons. The detail that truly sets this service apart though is the glorious, delicious, freshly made butter.
Now, you certainly could open up a stick of butter, bring it to room temperature, and garnish as you wish. In this case, I'd recommend a higher quality butter (an Irish butter like Kerrygold is always a winner). But I say let's do one butter. I mean, better.
What do you think of when you think homemade butter? For me, my mind races back to elementary school field trips and women in colonial garb endlessly churning butter. But the process is actually incredibly easy, especially if you have a stand mixer. And the results speak for themselves. In taste and texture, homemade butter is far superior to any store-bought option.
Homemade Butter Recipe
if you don't count salt, it takes only takes one ingredient to make butter: heavy cream. The heavy cream churns in a stand mixer for about 15 minutes until the curds separate. With a stand mixer, the whole process is pretty much hands off and so satisfying!
Once made, it's easy to store your freshly made butter: wrap it in plastic wrap or store it safely in an airtight container. You can also purchase butter molds, which will allow you to create impressive, professional sticks of butter, with tablespoon measurements.
- 1 quart heavy cream
- salt, to taste
- In a stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream at moderate speed. It will first turn to whipped cream.
- Continue to beat the heavy cream until the curds separate. You will have what looks like (and is!) butter and the remaining liquid.
- Congrats, you just made buttermilk! Separate the butter from the buttermilk (save for fried chicken or pancakes!).
- Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, squeeze out any remaining liquid from the butter. This will help it keep longer.
- Fill a bowl with ice water and soak and rinse your butter.
- Squeeze out any remaining liquid again.
- For whipped butter: one last time, butter into the stand mixer. Season with salt and whip the butter. Or, use a butter mold to create sticks of butter. You're done!
Now that you've mastered the art of incredible homemade butter, you can have fun with variations. Make a butter board. Serve butter service!
Butter Flavorings and Options
Your options are now endless, but I have a few more suggestions:
- Mix in honey or maple syrup for a sweeter butter (Texas Roadhouse style!).
- Make your own compound butter for savory cooking: parsley and garlic, rosemary and onion, red pepper and garlic.
- Take your baking up a notch by upgrading to homemade butter. Best chocolate chip cookies ever, anyone?
Will you try making homemade butter? Once you start, you may never go back to the store-bought sticks again!