B-u-t-t-e-r. Yup, homemade butter. Is there anything better than butter? Julia Child would say no, no there is not. Butter makes everything better. And homemade butter? Oh wow. And so easy. If you have never thought of making butter, I urge you to make some. I just kept repeating to anyone who would listen, “Butter. I made butter!” You don’t technically don’t even a mixer, which is good because I broke mine awhile back. All I used was a good old fashioned mason jar and some muscle power. Seriously, that’s it!
Now, don’t get me wrong using heavy cream won’t result in a great amount of money saved. This method shouldn’t replace buying butter, but it is a great way to use up that leftover heavy cream in the fridge. The carton always makes me feel slightly guilty when I throw it out; portion unused. Not anymore!
I’m sure if my ancestors could see me now getting giddy over butter, they would chuckle. They had been doing it for years, so what’s all the fuss? The sense of accomplishment of channeling Laura Ingalls Wilder in your 21st century kitchen is well worth the effort, I promise. And what did I make with all my hard earned effort? Well, you will just have to wait and see…
Homemade Butter in a Jar
* Heavy Cream (6 cups will yield about a pound)
* Salt (to add in the end for flavor- 1/2 teaspoon per 1 lb. of butter)
* Jar (any jar will do, just make sure it has a tight fitting lid)
1. Fill your jar with the heavy cream (Some sites I read suggested leaving the cream out for a few hours. Some even said overnight to quicken the process. I did not and my triceps thank me.) Leave some room in the jar. Whatever you do, don’t fill it past 3/4 full. Just remember the more you fill it, the more shaking you have to do.
2. Then…shake. And keep shaking. (It also helps to add a marble to the jar, to increase the agitation of the milk). Depending on your amount, the time will vary as to the amount you need to shake for. After a few minutes, you should notice the cream is starting to thicken. You could stop here, add some sugar and call it whip cream and no one would blame you! I implore you shake on! After a few more minutes, what you should see is the liquid (that’s the buttermilk) separating from the milkfat (i.e. the butter). At this point, you should be ablet to see through the jar. If you did use a marble, you should also notice that your marble got very quiet (it’s a good watchdog to tell you when you are done shaking)
3. At this point, open your jar and drain the buttermilk off. (I read some other sites that suggested adding some water to the butter and to shake and drain again. I did not try this method, but I don’t see the harm. I did not and my butter tasted just fine.)
4. You are done. Spread it on toast. A biscuit. Pancakes! Whatever you do, enjoy the fruits of your labors. I know I did.