Making Butter

I made a batch of butter today and used the new butter mold I got for my birthday. So here is the whole process:

First go find a Jersey cow with great milk and milk her. Or in my case I have a friend who does.

This is Flossie. She gives me lovely raw milk with a thick layer of cream.

At first I drink all the milk with the cream in, but then after a few days it gets more difficult to blend it so, so I let it sit and the cream floats to the top and thickens. I skim this off all my jars of milk.

Here I have a quart of pure cream.

I divided this quart into two jars only half full, screwed the lids on tight and began to shake, shake, shake. It takes 12-18 minutes of continuous shaking when all of a sudden, thunk, you have butter and a thin buttermilk.

Drain off the buttermilk (can be saved for recipes) and rinse the butter. I leave the butter in the jar and run cold water over it and drain again. I do this about ten times, till the water runs clear.

The next part I haven’t figured out a good way to do it. You have to squeeze all liquid out of the butter. It goes rancid quickly if you don’t. I tried squeezing in a cheese cloth but it is very messy and not very efficient. This time I squeezed it between two plates. It did seem to get out more liquid that way, but was awkward.

So here is what I have after squeezing:

About 2/3 lb of fluffy butter. Add salt now if desired.

Meanwhile I had my wooden butter press sitting in ice water for 30 minutes then the fridge for 30 minutes. Cold wood doesn’t stick to the butter.

A pineapple on the inside of the antique mold.

The handle pushes in and out to push the butter out.

I packed the mold with butter, wrapped in cling wrap, and put in the fridge.

It sits in the fridge for 2 hours to harden. Then when I pushed the handle the butter popped right out.  The design isn’t very clear–I see I need to pack it better next time to avoid the holes.

The final product.

About 1/2 lb fit in the mold. The remainder I rolled in cling wrap to form a log, and chilled.

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15 Responses to Making Butter

  1. danrshaw says:

    That sure sounds like a lot of work but having REAL butter is worth it. It’s better than the one molecule removed from plastic that is used for butter now.

  2. glorylennon says:

    Holy moly, That is so cool. I didn’t think that was very hard at all. Now to get that jersey cow…

  3. authormjlogan says:

    I’ve never had Jersey milk, but plenty of Guernsey and some Holstein. The Guernsey was definitely much richer and better tasting. I’ve helped make butter. We pressed the liquid out by putting the butter in a bowl thing and then this plate thing fit inside and you pressed it in. The liquid came out around the side of the plate. I was told the key to the shaking part is to “throw” the cream against the container, and not just shake it. I don’t know if that is true or not.

    • Julie Helms says:

      That makes sense about throwing the cream. That’s why I use a half full jar so it can really slam against the sides. I think Jerseys and Guernseys are very similar. Real different than Holsteins.

  4. Trish says:


  5. Cylly says:

    BUTTER!!! Even better, JERSEY butter! I should have paid better attention to the process at the farm museums. So what does it taste like? I’m thinking of taste-tests with butter on … English muffins … corn-on-the-cob … lobster!
    Curious, did the press inspire the butter project? It’s so cool!

    • Julie Helms says:

      Yes, the press did motivate! It was the first time I used one. I think I am going to try making some garlic butter next…mmmmm.

      • Cylly says:

        Mmmm, sounds delish! Herb butter would be yummy too. And I’ve had a sweet butter (marmalade & honey) that was great on toast.
        My friend has started making yogurt in a crock pot (easy even low temps). She uses regular store-bought milk for now. Her mom has milking goats so she might try with fresh goat milk. She grew up on goats milk but isn’t so fond of it now. I haven’t tried goat milk or the yogurt yet but it sounds like an adventure.

  6. Cylly says:

    I checked the Flossie post and saw you said her pasture-mate Ruby had twins … any pix of adorable calves?

  7. Kathy Ammerman says:

    Julie, you did a great job, I am so impressed with your blogging!!! Photos and explanation are perfect. Have you tried yogurt yet? I add sweet, big black berries, and raw honey, makes ya feel so good inside! When I make whipped cream, I add a little Madagascar Vanilla, and top with a light dusting of cinnamon.
    Anyone needing milk can e-mail me, now that I am milking two I have plenty., thanks!!!

  8. Julie, after the butter agglomerates into a lump, you have to work it with water over and over to remove all milk. Just running water over it will not get the milk out. Put it in a cold bowl with cold water, and use a potato-masher or spatula, pressing down through the butter as it is under water, Change the water as required and repeat until the water is clear. Then squash it down to remove as much water as possible , salt it if you want salted butter, and press it with your mold.
    The other thing is, after you take the cream off of the milk, make cheese with it! After you make cheese, you can still feed the whey to pups and peeps–or put it on your tomato plants. “:)

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