Last night I made chocolate chip cookies. This may not sound like a huge acheivement (except that having a 9-month old in the house makes everything an acheivement), but these were special: I made them with homemade butter. A couple of weeks ago a colleague mentioned something about making butter. I knew the process, but had never tried it before–and I have to say, this will probably become a regular occurance. I made it while sitting on the couch, using a 1-quart glass jar and a pint of heavy cream. Less than five minutes after starting, I had a large clump of fresh butter. The result was delicious, creamy, and fairly light-colored. The cost of homemade versus storebought is about the same, so I’m putting this activity in the “repeat” column; now if I can just get homemade cheese to turn out as well.
Instructions for Homemade Butter:
1 pint heavy cream
1 clean quart jar, with lid
2 large bowls, one with lid
Let the cream come to room temperature. Better yet, let it sit on the counter overnight or use leftover cream that would otherwise go to waste.
Pour the cream into the jar and seal it tightly. Shake the jar strongly but slowly–using the same arm motion as if you were using a hammer. the cream will coat the inside of the glass, making the whole jar look white. Continue shaking for 2-3 minutes until the butterfat forms a large mass and the buttermilk washes the glass clear near the top.
Pour off the buttermilk (save it for baking!) into one waiting bowl. Add a cup of water to the jar and shake it for another minute to wash the butter. Pour off the water, then empty the butter into the other bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Here is an interesting YouTube video of the process, and the science behind butter.