Butter presses make butter more visually appealing for table use. When people produce butter, they usually place it in a crock, tub, mold or box. Old, primitive butter mold presses were made from wood and carved with a handle on the top and a flat bottom with a design carved on the underside. People pressed the design onto the top of the butter.
Press the Butter
Remove the fresh or softened butter from its current container and soften to room temperature. Do not melt the butter.
Place the butter on the small plate.
Work the butter with the butter spade (wooden spatula with a flat edge) to form a butter mound the same diameter as the butter press.
Flatten the top of the butter mound. Remove any air pockets, cracks or other imperfections from the top of the butter.
Place the butter mold press in the top of the butter. Press firmly. Leave in place.
Shape the butter mound sides to be straight or slightly angled to be larger at the bottom than at the top. The edges should be smooth. The top should be the same diameter of the press.
Remove butter mold press from the butter. Be gentle. If the butter has not set completely, leave the press in place and put the butter in the refrigerator. After an hour or so, you should be able to remove the butter press flawlessly.
Pressed butter is a popular item at old-fashioned festivals and country fairs. Put the butter on the table for display but keep most of it in a cooler to prevent it from melting in the sun.
Most wooden butter molds were made of hardwood or maple.
The intricacy of the design can increase the value of the press. The most common designs were simple carvings such as wheat sheaths.