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Posts tagged ‘how to make homemade butter’

What Not To Do With A Bottle Of Port

My mom and I have been making the same freaky cranberry sauce for over a decade.  Nobody likes it but we make it anyway because that’s how family traditions work:  you keep doing something weird, and you do it out of love–or a least benign inertia.

In this case, you dump half a bottle of port into a pot of cranberries and wait for the cranberries to explode.  It’s not complicated unless a rogue cranberry flies up and hits you in the eyeball (Thanksgiving 2009) or the pot spills over while you’re in the garage looking for more beer (Thanksgiving 2003, 2011).

The problem with dumping that much port into anything is port is pretty flammable.  Leave the cranberry sauce too close to a candle and you’ll have yourself a festive STOP-DROP-AND-ROLL situation.  (Thanksgiving 2005).

The port also makes the cranberry sauce taste weird, so nobody eats it.  It just sits in the middle of the table and wiggles like a 3-year-old who has to pee.  And that’s my real problem with the cranberry sauce: it’s basically impossible to look at it without reliving this conversation from your childhood–

PARENT:     Do you have to pee?

SELF:     Nope.

PARENT:     Are you sure?  You kinda look like you have to pee.

SELF:     Nuh-uh NO I DON’T I DO NOT.



So you know what I’m not going to do?  Lay the godforsaken cranberry sauce recipe on you.  And I’ve never cooked a turkey or even a chicken, so that’s not happening either.

But I did make homemade butter this week and it was pretty awesome.  It took less than 10 minutes and made me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It tasted fresh and creamy and was the most lovely shade of palest yellow-white.

I used a food processor but if you have kids who like to help with dinner, you could put the cream and salt in a tightly-sealed tupperware and let them shake it as long as they can.  If they don’t make it further than whipped cream, you can finish the job in a food processor.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Homemade Butter {Download & Print Recipe}

Inspired by many


1/2 pint (1 c.) heavy cream

1/4 tsp. + 1/8 tsp. salt (I used coarse-grained sea salt)

a medium bowl of ice water


Pour the cream and salt in a food processor or blender and blend at medium to high speed until lumpy curds form and start sticking together.  At this point, the  liquid remaining in the processor should look like skim milk; if it’s thicker than that, keep blending.  Depending on the speed you’re using, this could take 4-6 minutes.   In the meantime, put some ice cubes in a medium bowl and fill the bowl with water.

Dump the butter into a strainer to get rid of the milky liquid (the whey).  Transfer the butter to a bowl (I used a cereal bowl) and pour ice water on it until the butter is submerged.  Using a rubber spatula or large spoon, press down on the butter to release the remaining whey.  The whey will turn the water cloudy.  When the water gets cloudy, pour it out and add more fresh ice water.  Repeat 3 or 4 times, until the water stays clear when you smush the butter around.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the butter to a piece of parchment paper and roll it into a log.  Chill it for 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator.  The log will be a little wet, but you can carefully mop up any water droplets with a clean paper towel before serving.  To serve, cut the log into slices (or however you wish) and serve on a little dish or saucer or in a ramekin, sprinkling with a little salt if you like.  (I like to do this because salt goes so well with the sweet creaminess of homemade butter.)


Synchronized sleeping!