Thursday, September 01, 2011

How To Make Your Own Butter

The other day I found a great tutorial on making your own butter at home, using a jar and a marble. I was pretty excited and decided this would be a fun activity for my little 21 month old toddler and I. Of course, I didn't bookmark the page. But I remember a lot from it - as well as when my Mom used to make butter when I was a youngster.

Most people use heavy cream right from the store. I used the heavy cream that floated to the top of our raw milk. It was easily accessed by my turkey baster.

I carefully took as much cream as possible from the top of the jar. When it started to become more "liquid", I figured I was hitting the milk underneath and stopped.

I got about a full cup of cream into my new glass jar. I then dropped a marble into the milk and tightened the lid. It was time to make butter! You do this by shaking the jar up and down, left and right, all over. The marble is there to help you determine how thick the butter is becoming.

The directions I read online said that using a glass jar is risky because it could crack from the marble flying around. I decided to remedy this by wrapping the glass jar in a towel to offer more protection.

It made sense at the time...

I shook the jar for about 10 minutes before inspecting it and noticing a small crack. Oh bugger.

When I opened the lid to change containers, I noticed the milk was already separating into butter!

I switched over to a plastic container and shook the milk for about 5 more minutes. My triceps were starting to burn at that point. Little Olive had abandoned the activity back when I was turkey basting the heavy cream out, so I had been on my own for a while.

When I could no longer hear the marble moving around, I opened up the lid - and there was butter!

I poured off the buttermilk into a separate container, added some salt, mixed it up, and voila!

It's quite yummy. It's much more dark and flavorful than the store bought kind. I added it to some eggs and toast today, and I must say I felt quite like Laura Ingalls out on the prairie.

You don't ever need the marble for this project. It's probably better if you don't, especially if you're using a glass jar.

You can also put the milk in a blender or food processor for faster results.

I also remember "kneading" the extra buttermilk out when making butter with my mom, but I wasn't sure how to do this. If I find out, I'll come back for an edit. :)


Amanda said...

Dan has made butter with our cream before. I forgot how he did it but it was amazing. I think he skimmed the cream off and then put it in the mix master until it churned into butter but I could be wrong. Yours looks so yummy!

Susan May James said...

Wow! Fantastic, will try this, just need to find a marble...
I read once that butter isn't as unhealthy as we are led to believe. Especially homemade butter. Apparently the commercial processing of store bought butter makes it higher in saturated fat than homemade butter! I've always wished I knew how to make my own so this would be fun to try.
(Sounds like a good way to work out the arms too!)

LuAnn said...

I can help with that last step! What we would do is this: after pouring off the buttermilk into a separate container for use later, we would rinse the butter in cold water, and just press the butter with a spoon to express the buttermilk still being held in the butter. Whatever was expressed out was discarded, though, because it was thinner due to the cold water, and because of the handling of the butter with the spoon. After a few rinses, no more buttermilk came out, we salted the butter and there you go! Beautiful, creamy, delicious homemade goodness!

LuAnn said...

And I love the color of your butter! You can see all the sun's goodness in it from whatever beautiful grass or field flowers the cows were eating.

Karen @ Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo said...

Wow! This is great! I'll have to give it a try.