Most of us buy our butter in the supermarket, harboring the perception that actually making butter requires old-timey barrels and milk fresh from the udder.
The truth is, butter is simple to make (and impossibly delicious to eat).
We stole—well, asked for—an easy, homemade butter recipe from Chef Michael White’s Vaucluse, a French brasserie-style restaurant in N.Y.C.’s Upper East Side. And after prepping it ourselves, and eating it faster than we anticipated, we can definitively declare: It’s a game-changer.
“I love eating fresh cultured butter on a great baguette,” White tells PEOPLE. “When you get to taste freshly churned butter, lightly salted on fresh bread, there’s nothing better.”
Here’s the luscious recipe from Chef Jared Gadbaw, Vaucluse’s butter mastermind.
Fresh Cultured Butter
1. Combine 1 liter good heavy cream with 3 tbsp. buttermilk. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
2. Whip in a stand mixer over medium speed until it separates.
3. Remove fat from buttermilk and rinse the fat in cool water kneading to remove pockets of buttermilk.
4. Beat with a wooden spatula or a thin towel to remove all water inside butter. Add 1 tsp kosher salt and whip in the mixer for 2 minutes to incorporate and increase volume by about 10%.
Et voilà! Eat with literally everything. (But especially bread. Lots of bread.)
The variations are endless, too.
“You can add herbs and spices when you salt it. Also you can (and should) save the buttermilk that is made when the fat separates to make your next batch of butter,” Gadbaw tells PEOPLE.
But if you’re still unreasonably attached to your supermarket butter, not to worry — you can elevate that humble stick into something spectacular: nutty, fragrant brown butter.
“Brown butter is made by heating butter until the milk evaporates and the solids start to burn. It goes from a sweet flavor to a nutty one,” Gadbaw tells PEOPLE. “You can then separate the clarified brown butter from the browned solids and use each separately or together depending on application.”
—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda