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History Cookbook: Butter

This recipe is in categories Stuarts, Vegetarian
About this recipe
Healthiness : (41 votes)
Difficulty:  1 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: The butter can take a while to separate out, so this is a great recipe to take turns with.

You may like to compare this recipe with another way to make butter, using a jar, shown in the WW2 section.

Preparation Time: About 30-50 minutes, the butter takes as long as it takes, so this is only a guide.
Cooking Time: None
Number of servings: The churned butter makes about 400g.
Serving suggestions: Eat spread on hot toast or crumpets.
This is a vegetarian recipe

Butter has been made by hand using goats, sheep and cows' milk for many centuries. The glazed butter churn, shown, is a copy of a Stuart one - which is why the recipe is in this section.

The churn is only part glazed, this makes it self cooling. As water evaporates off the unglazed surface, the contents are cooled. This evaporation system is still used in some parts of Africa today.

  • 1 pt (600ml) double cream
  • 1/2 pt (300ml) full fat milk


  • Dish
  • Churn
  • Wooden spoons or butter pats
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

When making any butter or cheese, make sure all items are completely clean. Usually everything is rinsed in very hot water to keep bacteria out and to remove any soapy residue.

  1. Put the cream and milk into the churn 
    Move the dasher ( the stick bit) up and down. There should be no splashing and a steady pace should be kept. Repeat for 30-50 minutes. The mixture will first thicken and then little golden dots of butter will appear on the dasher. It will become hard to keep churning for a while but keep going. The butter is ready when it has become yellow and firm and floats in the buttermilk
  2. You now have what is known as 'green butter',  this will not keep well as it still contains buttermilk, which will make it go off. Rinse the buttermilk off with cold water. Try using two wooden spoons to squeeze out the buttermilk. Butter pats were used to do this
  3. Once you have squeezed the buttermilk out, you can use your butter. Some people like it mixed with a pinch of salt. This is slightly salted butter
Butter - print view  Butter - print view

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Name: Gilean Rider 30th September 2012
love the site - where did you get that fab butter churn?
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