One of my New Year “promises” is to become more involved in farm projects. This means less worrying about what has become of my M&M’s {Manolos and Milk Duds} and more concentrating on creating something fulfilling and worthwhile here at home in Ireland. If you follow along on Twitter you may have heard some mention of a certain sweet little thatched cottage restoration that I will be taking on in 2011. I have also been wanting to try my hand at making butter from our own fresh cream and honey. So, when I gleefully received the gift of a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into some Adventures in Butterland!

Turns out, it’s pretty easy.

First, you’ll need to get some raw milk from your farm or local dairy. (7 litres {about 2 gallons} yields about 2 pints {4 cups} of cream) Leave it sit still long enough to form a layer of cream on top. 12-24 hours worked for me. If you want a more traditional flavour, you can leave it out instead of keeping it in the fridge the whole time. If you don’t have access to a farm or dairy, you can use cream or double cream from the supermarket instead. 500mls = 227g of butter.

Once you skim the cream off the top of your milk, pour it straight into an electric mixer and pop it on medium speed. After 2 minutes, it should look like this:

After a few more minutes, like this:

And after about 6-9 minutes,

the butterfat will separate from buttermilk and it should look like this:

Remove the butter from the bowl and place it into a cold sieve to strain out all of the buttermilk.

{save the buttermilk for pancakes or scones}

When you’re sure you’ve squeezed out as much buttermilk as possible,

use your hands or wooden spatulas or butter bats to form the butter,

and make sure you keep the utensils icy cold or the butter will begin to melt.

{Since I have kid-sized hands, these children’s spatulas worked perfectly!}

If you want, add some honey, like I did

or fennel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon…

and maybe stamp it with a special motif.

After you have it all shaped and pretty,

Serve it with a special meal

or slathered on a piece of morning toast.


Slan Abhaile,


*when using non-pasteurised cream, keep refrigerated and it will last for a week. Pasteurised cream butter will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Guidelines taken from Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen. Photos by Imen McDonnell

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31 Responses to “Irish Farmhouse Butter”

  1. […] the past few years I have performed my fair share of indulgent dairy experiments. I’ve churned butter. Strained farmer cheese. Clouted clotted cream. Creamed curd cheese. Condensed milk and evaporated […]

  2. […] really is incredibly simple. I learnt from the wonderful blog of my friend Imen McDonnell – here is a link to her blog post on making butter which she makes using raw milk from her own farm. Quite […]

  3. […] a Masterclass with Butchers Ed Hick, J Crowe and Jack McCarthy including a black pudding demo, farmhouse butter-making with Imen, artisan cheese from David Tiernan from Glebe Brethan Farm, a walled garden tour with Donal and his […]

  4. […] Irish food blogger took the beautifully styled images illustrating butter making. Here is a link to a post on Imen’s blog showing us how it’s done. I may just have a go at making some […]

  5. […] see the process of how it’s made, and shaped then take a look at the gorgeous blog by Imen of I Married an Irish Farmer.  While you’re at it you might vote for her in the Saveur Awards for best regional cuisine […]

  6. […] You can find the simple recipe and instructions here.. […]

  7. […] can learn how to make your own butter with my DIY editorial here; afterwards, just finely chop up a handful of softened dulse and massage into your butter. You […]

  8. […] be festive to bake up some gingerbread to bring along to share with the audience. Once I had the honey-rum butter made, it could be lashed onto squares of gingerbread and passed around the audience. The response […]

  9. […] yourself – including your own dairy products like butter and cheese. Imen McDonnell will host a Modern Farmhouse Butter Making demonstration as she has previously done with Ella McSweeney and Glenilen Farm for GIY Ireland’s […]

  10. […] a Masterclass with Butchers Ed Hick, J Crowe and Jack McCarthy including a black pudding demo, farmhouse butter-making with Imen, artisan cheese from David Tiernan from Glebe Brethan Farm, a walled garden tour with Donal and his […]

  11. […] off, I was invited by Donal Doherty and the Irish Food Bloggers Association to share some of my butter-making love for their “foodies on tour” event next month at Harry’s Restaurant in Donegal. I will be […]

  12. […] & Sons and TJ Crowe of Crowe’s Farm. After that, Imen McDonnell will be demonstrating modern farmhouse butter-making. Weather permitting, we’re then hoping to get a tour of Harry’s new walled kitchen […]

  13. […] Butterland 23/01/2011 mpbyrne Leave a comment Go to comments Irish Farmhouse Butter | I Married An Irish Farmer. […]

  14. […] I made the pastry dough (using this butter) and rolled it out to ¼-1/2 inch […]

  15. Clare says:

    So cool! I always knew you could make butter by mixing cream for a long time but had no idea that it left behind buttermilk (which I strangely LOVE). My KitchenAid mixer is collecting dust in storage back in the states, but maybe this year I’ll bite the bullet and buy one! Can’t wait to try your honey butter…

  16. amyC says:

    Butter in a blue bowl! How delightful is that?

    happy new year Imen 🙂

  17. SoniaBegonia says:

    Bring me a tub of that butter when you viz. Also i have a list of Boots items I need…kidding! That looks so good. Fluffy. Photos supercute and you should add a tag re: the ‘pasteurized’ or ‘non-pasteurized’ as that is a topic of interest to many. What is pasteurization anyway? Hmmm…I see a theme in your future! But don’t make it too science-ey.

  18. I love butter. That looks amazing!

  19. Lorraine says:

    I’m drooling! There is nothing nicer than proper farmhouse butter on freshly baked bread. A kitchenAid as a pressie – how lucky are you? We bought a friend of ours one for her 30th birthday – I must admit I do gaze at it longingly when I’ve over in her house 🙂

  20. barbara says:

    How fabulous to be able to get fresh milk. I make butter with cream from the supermarket and it’s quite difficult to find cream that doesn’t have anything added. I grew up on a farm in Australia and we made butter from our own cream.

    • imen says:

      Thanks Barbara! Always lovely to receive a nice comment from you. I had no idea you grew up on a farm! xx

  21. I’m def going to give that a go, once the cows calve and start milking again – looks like fun too.
    Good luck with renovating the cottage, we did a house about 3 years ago, great fun but gosh, it did make me busy for the year!

    • imen says:

      Lorna, do give it a go! I still want to do Goat’s Milk ice cream too! We built our home…all direct labour/no contractor, so I kind of know what it’s going to take and as you know, “busy” will prob be an understatement! Thanks for your message. xx

  22. josie says:

    happy new year imen!!

    you make butter making so easy. i might give it try someday, not yet though – i’m not ready. 🙂

    by the way, i too got a white kitchenaid mixer for xmas (well, birthday/xmas)!!

    have a great day

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