I use a lot of butter when I am cooking and baking, not a much as the famous Paula Deen, but I like making the butter as I need it so it is always fresh and the prices in the store for butter can get pretty expensive at times. There are “recipes” for making homemade butter all over the internet and our great grandmothers were making butter long before the large supermarkets came along .This is very simple and you only need heavy whipping cream and a sterilized quart size jar, no special equipment or butter churns necessary!
When I purchase heavy whipping cream, I do not use it immediately for butter making, I keep the heavy whipping cream in the refrigerator for at least a week to age, the longer the better as you will get a better yield in butter. The cream has a very long shelf life of over 6 weeks if you purchase the freshest cream in the dairy section.
Fill a clean and sterilized quart size jar half full with heavy whipping cream, this will be 2 cups if you want to be exact. Place clean lid and ring on jar and set aside for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours, be sure the jar lid is firmly tightened and start to shake the jar back and forth. You don’t have to shake hard just nice and steady. It will start sloshing around and you will be able to hear a thumping starting inside that is the butter. Next the mixture will stop thumping and make no noise or sloshing, just keep on shaking as it will suddenly start to clear up as the milk starts releasing the butter. Keep shaking until you can see the solid block of butter in the jar and the buttermilk will be completely separated. This seems like a lot of shaking but it actually only takes about 4 minutes.
Drain the buttermilk into a clean pint jar trying to keep the butter in the quart jar until you get as much of the buttermilk drained off that you can. Then you can dump the fresh butter into a large glass bowl. The butter needs to be rinsed to remove the milk that is still trapped in the butter. using cold water press the butter with a spoon along the sides of the bowl to rinse and clean butter. If you use a glass bowl you can turn the bowl side ways to drain off the milky water – discard this water/milk liquid. I rinse the butter at least 3 times to be sure I get all of the milk residue out of the butter and the water remains clear. You can keep the butter unsalted or salt the butter lightly with table salt which is a natural preservative for butter. Chill butter or use in recipe. Yield: 8.5 ounces butter and 1 cup of traditional buttermilk
The “buttermilk” drained from the butter before rinsing is a traditional buttermilk which makes fabulous pancakes or for use in your baking recipes or you can also drink it right up! This buttermilk is not the same as the cultured buttermilk most folks are more familiar with.
Note: I fill the jar in the morning and then after supper dishes are done and I am getting ready to watch TV I am ready to make butter! I like multi-tasking!
This technique is also a fun way to show the kids a simple science experiment of a liquid changing to a solid. My children are grown, but I want to show my grandchildren how to make butter the next time they come for a visit. They love helping me cook in the kitchen and I like giving them those kinds of memories of fun in the kitchen.