Shake, shake, shake to transform heavy cream into butter!

To make butter all you need is heavy cream and a covered container. The more cream, the longer it takes. This “recipe” gets you there before boredom or frustration can set in, with enough butter to taste immediately plus a couple of knife-swipes to enjoy later.

  • 8 ounce canning jars with lids (one for each person)
  • heavy cream (2 ounces per person)
  • salt (optional)

Pour cream into the jar up to the 2-ounce mark. Cover tightly and shake. Keep shaking. At first, you get unsweetened whipped cream; keep shaking until it feels and sounds different. Take a peek. You are done when the butter has quite obviously and completely separated from the buttermilk. Pour off the buttermilk. Save it for another use (but don’t expect the signature tanginess of traditional or cultured buttermilk, unless you happen to have started with ripened, unpasteurized cream).

To wash your drained butter, add a couple of ounces of very cold water. Cover and shake a little more, then pour off the water. Add a pinch of salt if you like. If you aren’t going to use it all at once, continue washing until the water runs clear, then pat it dry.

Of course, you can always make larger quantities with an electric mixer or a blender.

If you would like to flavor butter, add to newly made or store-bought softened butter your choice of pureed fruit, ground spice, chopped herbs, chopped or ground nuts, honey or maple syrup. Mash your butter into molds or pretty serving dishes, cover, and refrigerate.

Homemade or store bought? Which do you prefer?