Churning Butter

Making butter and cheeses were good ways to preserve fresh milk, especially when the weather was hot and milk was plentiful. Learn to make butter the way pioneers did. 


· Large jar (a wide-mouthed quart jar will do)

· A churn dasher (a long handled potato masher will do)

· 1/2 pint or more of heavy cream

· Salt (to taste)

Step 1

Cream should be room temperature. Put it in the churn and cover it. If the cover doesn’t have a hole for the churn handle, fashion a cover out of plastic so the cream won’t splash.

Step 2:

Churn by moving the dasher briskly up and down.


The cream will first go through a whipped cream stage and then become creamy and smooth. If you listen to the sounds it makes you can tell how thick it is. First the cream just splashes, later it splats or thuds. In about 20 minutes the fats in the cream turn to butter and a milky liquid separates out. This is butter milk (you can drink it or use it in cooking).

Step 3:

Drain off the buttermilk

Step 4:

After the butter milk in drained off, take out the globs of butter. Add the salt if desired. Working the butter with your hands or a wooden spoon in a bowl or on a cutting board, rinse the butter several times with cups of cold water, draining it off each time.

Step 5:

Squish out excess water and round the butter into a ball on a plate. Enjoy with warm, homemade biscuits!

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