Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Make Your Own Butter in a Mason Jar

This is a great way to teach your kids how butter is made - using a mason jar, marbles, and heavy cream. I remember making my own butter as a kid.  I couldn’t have been more than 5 years old, but this is still a vivid memory for me, so I couldn’t wait to try this with WP.  Just as I remember, the butter tastes wonderful: creamy and fresh. Here is how we made our butter: 
Step 1: Gather ingredients. You will need:
  • 2-3 marbles - For those of you in Houston, the British Isles store in Rice Village sells individual marbles.  WP has fun picking out each one. Hobby Lobby sells marbles in a bag, and Restoration Hardware has some classic marbles on sale right now. 
  • One glass mason jar or any container with a tight fitting lid (mini mason jars would be great for this, if you can find them.)
  • Heavy whipping cream (enough to fill the container about half way)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)
Step 2: Fill the glass container about halfway with cream (the cream will expand with shaking). Add a pinch of salt if you want salted butter. Add the marbles to the container, secure the lid, and start shaking! WP thought this was so fun, and he loved shaking the container.... for about 30 seconds.  I ended up shaking for the rest of the time! If you have more than one kid (or even have a friend over), let them take turns shaking. Otherwise, you will be getting a good arm workout!
Step 3: Shake until you have butter.  It takes about 20 minutes in total. You first need to shake the cream into a thick, dense consistency that coats the inside of the jar. You will know you have a thick cream when the marbles start to slow down, and eventually, you will not hear them at all.  This took me about 10 minutes. The butter is not ready yet... but the cream is delicious, if you want to sneak a taste!!!
Step 4: Once you get the thick cream, you will need to keep shaking about another 10 minutes until the  cream separates into a yellow solid (butter) and a white liquid (butter milk).  The cream will slowly start to turn a slight yellow color right before it separates.  
Step 5: Separate the butter from the buttermilk (the buttermilk will sour the butter) with a strainer. Joy the Baker posted a neat trick: after the buttermilk is strained away, rinse the butter in ice-cold water, then stir it until creamy. Return the butter to the mason jar. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Step 1: Gather ingredients
Step 2: Fill jar half-way with cream and add marbles.
Step 3: Shake until the cream thickens and begins to coat the jar (about 10 minutes.) 
You're almost there when it looks like this... 
Step 4: Keep shaking until the cream turns pale yellow and separates into a solid (butter) and a liquid (buttermilk) 
Step 5: Strain away the buttermilk so that all you have left is butter. Rinse butter in ice-cold water and return to mason jar.

Enjoy!! ~Lauren

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