Makes 1 pound of butter:
3 pints organic heavy cream
Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)
Pour the cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Enclose the top of the bowl tightly with a tent of plastic wrap (make sure the attachment is able to rotate freely) and begin mixing on medium speed. As the cream enters the whipped stage, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl, ensuring that the mixture is well combined. Return the mixer to medium speed. The cream will thicken further and then change color from off-white to pale yellow; this will take about 7 to 9 minutes. When it starts to look pebbly, it’s almost done. After another minute or so the butter will separate, causing the liquid (buttermilk) to splash against the plastic wrap. At this point, stop the mixer.
Set a fine-mesh strainer or sieve over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the mixer into the strainer and let the buttermilk drain off. Strain the buttermilk again, making sure to get all of the solids into the strainer.
With the strainer set over the bowl, knead the butter with your fingers to consolidate the fat and expel the remaining buttermilk. Transfer the butter to a super-clean surface or cutting board and continue kneading until the texture is dense and creamy, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate the buttermilk for use in a future recipe.
If desired, mix any seasonings into the butter. For ingredients other than salt or herbs, transfer the butter back to the mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on at low speed and slowly add the ingredients until just combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 4 months.
Written by Matt Jennings
Photography by Madeline Polss