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Cultured Butter and Buttermilk
ounces butter/buttermilk
Print Recipe
1 qt
heavy cream (preferably from grass-fed cows; otherwise free of hormones and additives, and not ultra-pasturized)
1 sm
5-6 ounce container skyr (preferably one labeled as containing heirloom cultures, such as Icelandic Provisions)
Sea salt, to taste

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.


  1. 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.
  2. Place mixture in refrigerator for at least three hours, preferably overnight, until completely chilled.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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.