Churn, Baby, Churn

Just in time for the holidays, Tulip Tree Creamery launches new butter-making classes.

Making your own butter is much easier than you might expect. This month, Tulip Tree Creamery adds a new DIY butter class to its list of hands-on experiential offerings at the company’s westside production facility. Guests are greeted with a tasty spread of cheeses and charcuterie to take the edge off any hunger pangs, and are welcome to BYOB (beverage, not butter).

You’ll glimpse a couple of old-school butter churns, a la Little House on the Prairie, on the way in, but don’t worry. The apparatus visitors get to use here is much more modern. After a little food-science lesson on how butter happens, it’s time to don the hairnets, aprons, and gloves and get down to work.

The directions are simple. Warm heavy cream to the right temperature, pour into a small Kilner butter churner, and start cranking. We were told to look for pea-sized butter grains to start forming at around the 10-minute mark. But after 15 minutes … then 20 … still nada. Fortunately, our instructors stepped in with an alternative method of pouring the cream into a sealed plastic container and shaking the hell out of it, which produced the desired effect within two minutes. A second attempt in the churner worked like a charm as well.

Flavored butters (clockwise from top): Chocolate, Italian spice, and onion with parsley

After you squeeze out any excess liquid, the fresh butter is ready to spread and sample. But not so fast. You’ll miss on the opportunity to dude up the fruits of your labor with a selection of spices and seasonings. Tulip Tree provides flavoring suggestions, or you can just let your imagination run wild. Lavender butter? Sure. Curry cayenne? Go for it. My personal favorite was a sweet cocoa butter that simply begged for a tall stack of hot pancakes.

Imagine how impressed your guests will be when you whip out your very own sage-parsley butter to slather onto yeast rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, or pull out some pumpkin-spice butter for winter baking. Tulip Tree has timed its upcoming butter classes appropriately to tap into the holiday zeitgeist. For dates and reservations, check Tulip Tree Creamery’s Facebook page or visit its website.

Tulip Tree Creamery6330 Corporate Dr., 317-331-5469. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.