Making Raw Sweet Butter or Raw Cultured Butter

The best time to make butter is during the spring and fall, while the grass is growing quickly. If you are wondering why spring and fall butter is so important please read Why Butter is Better and The X Factor. Another essay about nourishing traditional foods and what these foods mean for the health of our children is Ancient Wisdom for Tomorrow’s Children.

Making butter has become a lost tradition. Raw sweet butter is made from raw cream that has not been fermented. Making raw sweet butter is very easy:
1. Use a food processor with the standard blade attachment. Pour in the cold raw cream to within 1/2 inch of the top of the blade. Do not go any higher or the cream may flow out the center of the appliance. It will take about 12-15 minutes to make butter. The cream will go from whipping cream, to a sloppy mass, to butter clumps and buttermilk. You will hear a change in the motor sound and the buttermilk will start slopping around the container. When opened, there will be butter in small clumps and buttermilk.
2. Have a stainless steel bowl with a sieve set up to collect the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk out of the food processor and the sieve will catch the small pieces of butter. Press out as much buttermilk as you can into the bowl. Carefully collect the butter in the sieve and add it to the butter patty. Save the buttermilk. Real raw buttermilk is sweet and delicious, nothing like the ersatz buttermilk available through the Industrial Food System.
3. Have two stainless steel bowls half filled with clean water and ice. The water should be cold. After you have gotten the buttermilk out of the butter, form the butter into a patty and put it into the icy water. Wait a few minutes for the butter to harden a bit and start working the buttermilk out of the butter by folding the patty over. Keep your hands as cold as possible. When the butter is clean, put it into the second bowl of icy water for another cleaning cycle.
4. Form the butter into patties and wrap in wax paper. Gather together and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Label and date the plastic bag for later consumption.

It is easy to make raw cultured butter by leaving the raw cream out overnight. In the morning, refrigerate the cream until cold, and process as usual. The buttermilk from cultured milk will have a pleasant sour flavor. Traditionally, butter would have been made once a week. Cream from the daily milking would be added to the old cream. The cream would be fermented by the end of the week. This fermented cream would then be made into raw cultured butter.

With 1 gallon of raw cream from Patty, our Jersey cow, I made 2.4 pounds of raw butter and 2.5L of buttermilk. The raw butter has a deep yellow color. This rich yellow or orange color is a sign of a butter with high vitamin content.

Update October 16, 2009: I found this link for making butter using a KitchenAid Mixer at There are good pictures of the process on the website.