The Pleasures of Homemade Butter

I like to make my own butter from time to time. 

It is not a regular thing, rather a matter of convenience, when in the fridge there is that extra heavy cream that I don’t know what to do with it, like after Thanksgiving, for example, when I needed the heavy whipping cream for the pumpkin Pie. 

That is when I buy a one or two extra containers, I use what I need and with the rest I then make butter.

That way I really feel that I am in charge, just like when I make my own yogurt. Nothing goes to waste. 

Besides, I like the idea, the taste of this very fresh butter, and it is a good occasion to make it salty. Of course, you can find salty butter in Italy, but you have to look for it, as it is not the norm.



Honestly, I do not think there is a need to give out instructions as it is rather simple,  but here we go:

Pour heavy cream into the mason jar, filling it half-way full. Screw the lid on.

Shake mason jar for as long as it takes.  Keep shaking (while watching your favorite TV show), until you hear that a lump has formed inside, and shake an additional 30-60 seconds after that.

Remove the solids from the jar. The remaining liquid is buttermilk. You can save that for other recipes, or discard it.

Place the solids into a small bowl. Pour cold water over the butter and use your hands to squish it into a ball. Discard water and repeat rinsing 2 times more.

At this point you have butter. You can add in things like salt, honey, and herbs to create flavored kinds of butter, or serve in its pure form as is.

Flavored Butters

I am quite selective about flavored butter. There are plenty of suggestions for sweet butter, and very fancy ones. But I only like the simple ones. Perhaps with sage, which will be quite good over spinach-ricotta tortellini.

I also avoid onions or shallots as I don’t find the two flavors as going together much. But that is just me. I think anyone can flavor butter according to his heart content.

Rosemary & Garlic is one good combination, but with precaution. Not everybody likes garlic, especially raw.


  • ½  Cup freshly made butter
  • 1 Small Whole Roasted Garlic minced
  • 2 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • salt, (if your butter is not salty)
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

With Anchiovis

  • ½  Cup freshly made butter
  • 2 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary and Basil
  • 5 anchovies filets previously melted in low flame with a teaspoon of butter

To add some spice to the meal

  • ½  Cup freshly made butter
  • 5 chives, finely minced
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
  • (salt) and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

And my favorite

Fine Herb Butter

  • ½  Cup freshly made butter
  • 1 fine-chopped tablespoon each: fresh sage, oregano, marjoram and dill
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Or with Basil

  • ½  Cup freshly made butter
  • 1 fine-chopped tablespoon of fresh basil
  • a couple of drops of lemon juice

Gently stir in your chopped herbs (wash and dry them thoroughly first), or any of the above combinations. If you’re using dry spices, mix them together first so they incorporate evenly throughout the butter.

Scoop the flavored butter onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log shape. Twist the ends closed, wrap it in foil and place it in the refrigerator or freezer to chill and harden. 

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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