Shaken Not Stirred! My Favorite Way to Make Homemade Butter
Homemade butter is literally right at your fingertips... if you have heavy cream on hand. I go back and forth quite frequently about whether I should cook with dairy or not. As a firm believer in eating whole foods, my mind is telling me that (in moderation, of course) what is available on this planet naturally, without synthetics, is good for me. My behind and thighs are telling me otherwise... and it's no joke, I cook with a lot of butter! But that's okay. I love it. I am an advocate for butter and Julia Child. To quote the woman, "With enough butter, anything is good." and we all say amen! It's a good thing. I am glad that I live in a time when butter is praised and margarine is looked down upon; after reading what margarine really is, I will never eat that stuff ever again.
What's the best butter than you can get? In my opinion, it's the kind that you make yourself! Is this way of making butter practical? Probably not... it takes a lot of heavy cream. That heavy cream, once churned or shaken, separates and either becomes butter or buttermilk. Both of which are useful! But you don't get a lot of either in the process. It would take quite a bit of heavy cream to create the amount of stick butter that I am used to cooking with. It is starting to make sense to me why it is so expensive! In the meantime, perhaps I'll starting looking more into using coconut oil.
How do you make butter at home? It's truly so easy! There are few different methods, but my favorite is by shaking. Why? I was gifted a small butter churner over Christmas, which I figured was going to be a lot easier than shaking it for 15 minutes. While it is faster and a bit easier (your arms still get tired either way!), the butter does not clump up as well in the churner, and you lose most of it on the paddles. I want the most out of my butter! By shaking it inside of a jar, you get the result of a nice lump of butter and hardly any waste. That sounds nice, right? That's not to say that using a churner is bad. You might enjoy that, too! This is simply to say you can make great homemade butter with simply a jar that you most likely already have on hand.
Here's What You Need:
- A jar with a lid (I like 16 oz Ball Jars the best)
- 1 cup heavy cream (preferably organic or locally produced)
- Fill your jar with the heavy cream. It should be about halfway up the jar, but not more than that! Screw the lid on tight.
- Shake the jar up and down, back and forth, for 15 minutes. It's going take a lot of willpower to keep this going. Don't worry - you can take short breaks and switch arms. Our favorite way to get the job done is by trading the jar back and forth. Set the timer and get to shaking! After about 8-10 minutes you will notice that the cream has become thick, much like whipped cream. Keep going! Around 12-15 minutes, it will feel like you aren't shaking much of anything. Shake a bit more and you'll feel a big thud on one end of the jar. You'll peer inside and see your lump of pale yellow butter surrounded by buttermilk!
- Prepare a bowl of ice water. Drain off the buttermilk into a separate container (keep this for other baking uses!) and gather up the butter. Plunge it into the ice bath and squeeze it all together to form a tight lump and separate any other buttermilk. Butter with buttermilk still in it can spoil quickly.
- You may add salt, herbs, honey, or whatever you like to your butter! Press it into a cute mold or simply add it to a crock. Spread and enjoy!
It's such a fascinating job! And a great arm workout! I tell ya. You're going to love trying this butter. It tastes so good, creamy and rich. It makes a great treat for your guests and would even make for a funny activity to do when you have relatives over. We tried this for the first time on Thanksgiving and were laughing hysterically. It felt like forever, but it really was not that bad. My dad was the one to get the butter to thump against the jar; the look of surprise on his face was priceless. And that butter lasted a long time! Just place it in the fridge and continue to use until you see mold, though I doubt it will last long before it is all gone.
We love using Kalona Supernatural's heavy cream. It's the closest thing we can get to raw cream and milk, and we love that it is local to us! In fact, we live even closer to the creamery than we did before - it's just down the street from us now. They sell their dairy products all over the US. One of our favorite things to do is spot it in other states!
Let me know how your butter making activities go. Will you make a tasty herb butter or cinnamon honey butter? That sounds delcious!