Add Icelandic skyr to heavy cream, churn that cream into butter and buttermilk, and you may never return to store-bought sticks. This is the method that earned Dan Richer, the chef-owner of Razza Pizza Artigianale in New Jersey, the nickname of the “Jiro of breadmaking and butter.”
Notes: Exact yield will depend on the fat content of the cream.
Butter will keep at room temperature for about two days, refrigerated for about a month, or frozen for up to six months. If you start with a skyr containing heirloom cultures, you can reserve about a cup of cultured cream and, within about a week or two, use it to culture the next quart of cream.
- In a glass bowl, whisk cream with skyr. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to sit at room temperature for about eight to 12 hours, until thickened.
- Place mixture in refrigerator for at least three hours, preferably overnight, until completely chilled.
- Pour all of the cream into a food processor and turn it on (use high speed for multi-speed food processors). Watch as the mixture first looks like whipped cream, then eventually separates into butter and buttermilk. This process takes about three to five minutes.
- Pour off as much buttermilk as possible. Place the remaining butter in cheesecloth, or a fine-mesh strainer, and drain and squeeze out as much buttermilk as possible.
- Remove butter from the cheesecloth and rinse a few times with ice-cold water, pouring off and discarding excess fluid. Knead the butter, or use a spatula to press it against the side of the bowl, to discard even more liquid. Squeezing out all of the buttermilk will help extend the life of the butter.
- Serve at room temperature, salting to taste. Richer mixes about ¼ teaspoon of fine sea-salt into the fresh butter, then sprinkles on some coarse sea salt right before serving.
Elisa Ung is a writer based in Northern New Jersey. She was previously the restaurant critic and dining columnist at The (Bergen) Record and northjersey.com, and a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.