Thursday, July 15, 2010

Make Your Own Butter

Butter is expensive…did you know you can make your own? We used to have a friend who would give us gallon jugs of fresh milk. The cream would be on the top, so we could skim that off to make our own butter!

Homemade Butter

The ingredients are simple:
1 pint of heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
Salt (optional)

The equipment list is even more simple:
A glass jar (quart size is best)

The directions:

1. Pour the heavy cream into the jar, tighten the lid, and shake! After about 7 minutes, the cream becomes whipped cream. After about 3 more minutes of shaking, the whipped cream begins to separate into butter and buttermilk.
2. Pour the buttermilk into a separate container. You can drink it or save it for cooking.
3. Now wash the remainder of the buttermilk off the butter by pouring enough clean water into the jar with the butter to cover it completely. Swish it around enough to rinse and then drain the water from the jar.
4. Place the butter in another container (such as a small bowl) and mix it around with a fork or knife to release any additional buttermilk and pour it off again.
5. Add salt to taste (not really needed, but do so if you like it that way). You're done! You've made your own butter. One pint of whipping cream yields almost exactly 1 cup of butter, equal to 2 sticks.

Interestingly, shaking works faster than a hand-held electric mixer, which can make whipped cream in about a minute, but take about 14 more minutes to turn it into butter.

One final consideration is where to get the cream: heavy cream is simply the cream that floats to the top of the milk (straight from the cow, that is). If you're lucky enough to live near a dairy farm, you've got that option. Or you could get your own cow and make butter truly from scratch!

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