Monday, July 18, 2011

Butter / buttermilk making 101

I have always wanted to attempt to make my own butter but always thought I needed a churn. Little did I know that I could easily accomplish this task using nothing but a lidded jar and a little elbow grease. Today I decided to share this adventure with my 4 year old Georgia and it certainly made for a wonderful memory!


What you will need:

*Heavy Cream (or heavy whipping cream, at least a pint)
*Jar with lid
*paper towels
*Covered butter container
*Measuring cup (easy pour)


1. Pour Cream into Jar and place lid on tight.

2. Start shaking container. (will take about 12-15 minutes)

Time lapse:
After 4 minutes...turns into whipped cream.

After 7 minutes...turns into STIFF cream or consistency of whipped butter.

After 9 minutes... Starts to curdle (IE: clump, beginning stage of separation)

After 11 minutes....Separation occurs (IE: Butter separates from milk creating butter and buttermilk.)

After 12 minutes...75% separated.

3. At 75% separation carefully pour buttermilk into the measuring cup. (I have found straining at this point to make the final stage go faster. I use a measuring cup because I like to know how much milk I have.)

4. Place lid back on and shake another 1-2 minutes.

When done it will look like this,

5. Careful drain remaining buttermilk into the measuring cup.

6. Place a few paper towels down and dump out the butter on top of them. LIGHTLY pat top of butter to remove extra moisture.

7. Place butter in storage dish.

8. OPTIONAL: add a pinch of salt & stir.

9. STRAIN buttermilk into a serving dish or storage container of choice. (the milk makes an excellent creamer but is also delicious to drink or use in recipes. I plan on using mine for cornbread and fried chicken...YUM!)

10. Taste your efforts! Mmmmmm.... ;-)

This butter is a delicious and cheaper alternative to butter plus you get buttermilk which is also pretty costly. The butter is creamier and tastier than anything bought i a store and the homemade buttermilk lacks the sour quality of any store brand as it is thinner (but still thick) and sweeter , it is considered "traditional farm" buttermilk. Each pint gives you "about" a pound of butter and about a cup of milk.

Price breakdown: (I would normally buy cream by the quart but they were out, saving me an extra 1.00)

A pint of cream cost me 1.78
Cost of butter per pound is an average of 2.98 + Pint of buttermilk 1.98 (*2 cups)
Savings $ 2.19

NOTE: For an easier method you can use a food processor or blender but it seems to me nothing is more fun than shaking your way to butter with your children! I should also note that you may find whole cream even cheaper if you contact your local dairy farm and buy it straight from the source. You will probably have to buy a bit more than normal but butter freezes well and this buttermilk can be used as regular milk. :-)


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