This is a great, easy project, and one you can have kids help out with. Especially if you have high-energy kids you want to keep busy for a while, this one will do it. All you need are two items:
You can use any kind of cream, but the higher the fat content, the more butter you’ll get, so I used whipping cream. If you want more butter, you can make several batches, but don’t fill the jar more than half full, because you need lots of room for it to move around.
Step 1: Pour Cream into Jar
Pour the whole container of cream into your mason jar, and seal the lid very tightly. Check to make sure you have a perfect seal, and no leaks whatsoever.
Step 2: Shake
Vigorously shake the jar for about 20 minutes (this is where you hand it off to the kids). The cream will go through several stages:
First stage: whipped cream. The cream will thicken into a normal, thick whipped cream. Keep shaking!
Step 3: Rinse
Pour off the thin liquid. People call this buttermilk, but don’t confuse it with the cultured buttermilk in a lot of recipes, it’s not the same thing. This stuff is “traditional buttermilk” and is used in some Indian dishes, but it’s an excellent tomato fetilizer, as tomatoes like a lot of calcium. Pour the butter fat into a fine mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Gently rinse the fats with cold water. If you want to add salt, about a tsp of sea salt can be added at this time, but it’s fine without.
If you’re using cheesecloth, you can gently squeeze the cloth to get the liquids out, and form the butter into a firm ball. Otherwise you can use a spatula or wooden spoon to press the solids together and squeeze out any moisture.
Loving the city, but longing for the farm, Melissa has made a hobby and a habit out of living sustainably, and DIYing, all while enjoying the perks of living in the big city. From Vancouver BC, she posts about making your own homestead from the smallest condo, and bringing farm living to rapid transit.
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