Mmmm, Butter…and How to Make Your Own

Butter is wonderful and magical and versatile.  I *heart* it.  And no, I do not want to hear about how unhealthy it might be.  I’m still going to love butter anyway.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, who wants to make their own butter???

Of course you do, it’s sooooo yummy and easy to make!

Yesterday Babydoll and I made butter as part of our Prairie Primer study.  We didn’t do it the way Laura Ingells Wilder’s mother did, but our way was so much more fun.  We got a science lesson out of it to boot.

Make ButterThe first step is one that we didn’t do, because I didn’t read about it until it was too late.  Leave your cream out for 12 hours.  Just trust me folks, plus I have science to back me up on this one…

After your cream has soured {eeew, I know}, pour it into a mason jar.  You don’t really need to measure unless you want a specific amount of butter.  Generally, one cup of cream will make a half a cup of butter.

Now comes the really wicked part:  shake the jar.  A lot.  About one shake per second will be fine.  Make Butter

As you shake, you go from cream, to whipped cream, to butter bit and buttermilk.  You’ll also notice a difference in texture and ease of shaking as it moves through the process.  Whipped cream is probably the hardest part of the shaking process, but right after it gets amazingly easy when the butterfat separates.

Make ButterAt this point, you’ll want to drain out the buttermilk so you’re only left with butter bits.  We did this by pouring it into a fine mesh strainer.

Rinse the butter in cold water until the water runs almost clear.  Any leftover buttermilk can go rancid and spoil your butter.

Place your butter into a storage container {or butter mold if you’re feeling fancy-we were not} and press with a spoon, squishing out any last bits of buttermilk and draining it off.

If you prefer salted butter, mix in a bit of salt.

Make ButterThat’s it, you’re left with yummy homemade butter.  Babydoll sampled it three times yesterday on bread and has determined that we need to make our own butter all the time now!

It’s really helpful to check out the video below.  While the process is pretty much the same, the science behind this process is explained, and it’s actually quite interesting.