Have You Tried This Old Fashioned Skill?
I’ve been collecting a list of preparedness skills that I want to learn. The kind of preparedness skills that might just come in handy some day, like making soap and pressure canning. I think they could even be considered a lost homemaking art. I ran across instructions to make butter in a jar today. It looked so easy, and I’ve never made butter before, so I thought I would give it a try.
You know what? It was easy! Here’s how to do it.
You will need:
1 pint heavy cream
1 quart canning jar
1 glass marble
salt flakes to taste
Pour the pint of well chilled, heavy cream, into a clean, chilled quart sized canning jar.
Add a glass marble. I used a dark blue one – it made it easy to see.
Shake the jar (a lot) until the cream begins to thicken – now you have whipped cream in your jar. It will expand until it completely fills the jar and you will not be able to hear the marble moving inside.
Continue shaking until you have a lump of butter in the jar. This will take about 30-40 minutes depending on how aggressive you are with the shaking. Mine took 30 minutes.
HINT: After about 20 minutes the whipping cream took on a different form and I thought it might be done – BUT – there wasn’t any buttermilk to pour off, so I kept on shaking for another 10 minutes. Once you get to the butter stage, it’s unmistakable and there is a definite division between the butter and the buttermilk. You can hear and feel it sloshing in the jar.
Pour off and reserve the buttermilk for biscuits, pancakes, or another purpose. I had slightly less than 1 cup of buttermilk to pour off.
Knead the soft butter with a wooden spoon or spatula, pouring off the milk as you knead. I placed mine in a shallow bowl so I could pour easily. Once it seems all the milk is out of the butter, then…
Rinse the butter in several changes of cold water, kneading gently with a rubber spatula. Any milk left in the butter will cause it to quickly spoil, so try to get it all.
Knead in a pinch of salt, if you like and enjoy. It tastes just like store bought or the kind grandma used to make. I have mine in the refrigerator.
Will I make my own butter in a jar regularly? Well…probably not.
I used organic heavy cream for my butter experiment. I figured, as long as I’m going to give it a try I might as well leave out any chemicals, right. This did turn out to be somewhat expensive though. I have 1 cup of organic buttermilk and approximately 3/4 a pound of organic butter (plus a few more muscles) for $4.39.
I did learn a valuable preparedness skill however, and if I have regular access to cream I will certainly do it again.
I found my inspiration in the book The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! edited by Carleen Madigan. You should take some time to look at it.
Will you make your own butter?