Homemade butter is surprisingly quick & easy to make and this homemade herb butter (aka Compound butter) only takes 3 ingredients and around 10 minutes. No preservatives, no additives and fully customisable. This can be used to top your favourite proteins, flavour rice and pasta dishes etc.
It hasn’t been that long since I started to use homemade flavoured butter. Since then I haven’t looked back though! With only 3 ingredients and 10 minutes, you can whip up a delightful homemade herb butter (compound butter) that is perfect on top of your protein, to flavour rice and pasta dishes, roast veggies etc. Plus, the process also leaves you with delicious buttermilk, ready to be used in a variety of different ways.
Whenever I think of homemade butter, I can’t help but think back to when I was a child. I remember visiting a museum with a ‘working’ victorian kitchen, where you got a chance to churn your own butter using two different churners. Laboriously spinning or plunging to churn butter slowly. Luckily, the process these days is a lot simpler and you can make delicious, homemade butter in just 5 minutes, using a mixer/blender!! Which is kind of crazy if you ask me! And then a few extra minutes needed to make it a delicious flavoured butter!
This homemade butter can then be made into a variety of delicious flavoured butters, otherwise known as ‘compound butter‘. Compound butter means butter that has been mixed with fresh or dried herbs, seasonings or basically any aromatic ingredient. These are then usually made into a log shape and chilled, ready to be sliced up for later usage.
Honestly, making and using compound butter just makes me feel really ‘fancy’. Every time I use one it transports me to an expensive restaurant with butter ‘quenelles’ (curls) or a thick slice of herb butter, used to top proteins etc. The best part is that homemade butter is surprisingly quick & easy to make and customise!
How to make homemade butter
I cannot express more how simple the process is to make homemade butter. It takes just ONE ingredient! Yes, one! Two if you’re adding salt.
All you need to do is: Add fresh cream to a blender and blend!
That’s it. Honestly. Are you as surprised as I was?
The cream will go through three stages on its way to becoming butter. First, it will become whipped cream, then it will form stiff peaks, before finally becoming butter. You’ll know when it’s ready, as the butter solids separate from the liquid. This separate liquid is actually buttermilk which can be used in a variety of ways (Read below for some tips on how to use this.)
The trick to super butter is really getting rid of all that buttermilk. If you don’t then your butter will spoil sooner as the casein attached to the butter will putrefy when oxidised. To do this I first drain the buttermilk from the butter before rinsing it with ice cold water. This will become milky so I repeat this process with fresh water a couple of times till the water is clear.
Additionally, I know that some people put some iced water into the blender with their butter after the initial drain and blend for a further 30 seconds then draining and pressing the liquid out and repeating the process that way twice.
This may be a bit more than necessary, but better to be safe than sorry!
Once the butter is ready then it’s time to add in your dried herbs, roll it into a log (or pop into ramekins or a butter dish etc) and leave to chill! Voila you have homemade herb butter!
Note* Although It’s possible to use double cream, I’m using raw organic milk from grass-fed cows for this recipe, due to its additional health benefits, and simply collected the top layer of ‘cream’ from the milk. This naturally separates when the milk is chilled and sits on top, so is easy to collect.
This homemade butter can then be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Although it may only last up to a week if you haven’t properly rinsed it. Alternatively, it can be frozen too for up to 6 months!
The Alternative Butter making process
Alternatively, you can go a little bit more ‘victorian’ with your butter making and ditch the blender/ food processor in place for a simple mason jar. Simply shake. shake. shake. This agitating of the cream has the same effect as the blender; going from cream to whipped cream to butter. Although you’ll definitely get an arm workout in the process.
**SUPER TIP**: If you’re wanting to go one step further and make an even creamier butter then I have a tip for you. Simply pour your cream into a bowl/jar and add 2 heaped tablespoons of plain yogurt. Mix thoroughly and leave it out overnight. This cream will thicken overnight and can then be whipped into butter the next morning with super creamy and sweet results!
How to use the buttermilk left over from making butter
While commercial buttermilk is known for its acidic tang, homemade buttermilk you’re left with after making your own butter likely won’t be the same. This is because commercial buttermilk is actually mimicking the acidic nature of the buttermilk from our past, where the cream used to make butter will have begun to slightly sour, thus the acidic nature.
Now, it’s perfectly usable buttermilk without that acidity. However, the flavour will obviously be different. If you’re wanting to mimic commercial buttermilk then you can simply add 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup liquid. ( I’ve never tried this so can’t say how well it works). Alternatively, some simply leave it in a jar on the counter for a couple of days to culture.
If you have any experience using/making homemade buttermilk then I’d love to hear your advice in the comments below!
This buttermilk is basically able to be used either way, in all the ways store-bought buttermilk is. For frying proteins, within pancakes, salad dressings etc. You can also use it to make cheese. And, I’ve even read somewhere about people dehydrating it to make buttermilk powder.
How to use homemade flavoured butter (compound butter)
These homemade herb butters / compound butters can then be used not only, sliced into disks and topping your favourite protein. They can also be used:
Within sauces, to top toast, to roast and season veggies. I even like to pop one onto a jacket potato. Delicious!
Plus they’re not only for savoury uses. You can also use maple syrup, honey, cinnamon and fruit zests to flavour butter for pancakes, waffles and scones etc.
Other Flavoured Butter Options
Within this recipe, I decided to make a delicious rosemary butter. However, I also wanted to give you some options for other flavourings. There really is something for everyone from spicy to sweet to aromatic etc.
- Sun-dried Tomato
- Chilli & Lime
- Brown Sugar
If you give this recipe a go then I’d love to know in the comments below. Also, I’d love to see your creations so feel free to tag me @Alphafoodie.
DIY: Homemade Herb Butter (Compound butter)
- 2 cups fresh cream I used the top layer of raw milk *
- salt to taste
- dried rosemary to taste
- Gather the cream from the top of your raw milk. This will literally sit in a layer on top of the milk and can easily be scooped out.
- Then add this cream to a blender and blend. The cream will go through three stages on its way to becoming butter. First, it will become whipped cream, then it will form stiff peaks, before finally becoming butter. You'll know when it's ready, as the butter solids separate from the liquid. This separate liquid is actually buttermilk which can be used in a variety of ways (Read blog post for tips!)
- The trick to super butter is really getting rid of all that buttermilk. If you don't then your butter will spoil sooner as the casein attached to the butter will putrify when oxidised. To do this I first drain the buttermilk from the butter before rinsing it with ice cold water. This water will become milky, so I repeat this process with fresh iced water a couple of times, till the water is clear**
- Once the butter is ready then it's time to add in your salt and dried herbs (I used rosemary this time), roll it into a log ( or pop into ramekins or a butter dish etc) and leave to chill! Voila you have homemade herb butter!
- * Although It's possible to use double cream, I'm using raw organic milk from grass-fed cows for this recipe, due to its additional health benefits, and simply collected the top layer of 'cream' from the milk. This naturally seperates when the milk is chilled and sits on top, so is easy to collect.
- ** Additionally, I know that some people put some iced water into the blender with their butter after the intial drain and blend for a further 30 seconds then draining and pressing the liquid out and repeating the process that way twice.
- This homemade butter can then be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Although it may only last up to a week if you haven't properly rinsed it. Alternatively, it can be frozen too for up to 6 months!