The Homemade Pantry's Butter


[Photograph: Jennifer May]

Butter is one of those staple ingredients that we don't really stop and think too much about. Where does the stuff come from? The market, obviously, but before that, a butter factory? A churn? These vague ideas about butter making lead us to Alana Chernila's Homemade Butter recipe from The Homemade Pantry, a very rewarding kitchen experiment that cleared up all of our butter related queries. Well, not all of them, we'd still like to visit the butter factory.

To make butter from the comfort of your home kitchen, all you need is a stand mixer, a pint of cream, and a pinch of salt. Over the course of just about 15 minutes, the cream whips, stiffens, then separates into butter and buttermilk. A little kneading later and your left with fresh butter: spreadable, just salty enough and packed with everything that's so great about butter to begin with.

What Worked: Even if you're not going to make butter from scratch all the time, this is one DIY that you should try at least once.

What Didn't: Heed Chernila when she warns about the spatter factor; before the cream transforms into butter you could very easily end up with a big cleanup.

Suggested Tweaks: Herbs, spices, chiles—throw them in. The sky's the limit when you're churning your own.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Homemade Pantry to give away.