Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Did you know that you can make homemade butter with a jar and whipping cream? It is simple, fun and fascinating for kids of all ages.
All you need is heavy cream, a glass jar and a strong arm. Some think that two or three marbles added to the jar speed up the process. If you do that be sure you use a tempered glass jar like a Mason jar. At the end of the process you will end up with half as much butter as the amount of cream used.
First, fill your jar half full of heavy cream and drop in the marbles. Allowing the cream to reach room temperature seems to be faster.
Second, screw the lid on the jar and shake until it thickens and you can’t hear the liquid moving anymore. The yellow butterfat will separate from the buttermilk and is called the “break”.
Third, pour off the buttermilk and refrigerate if you plan to drink it or bake with it.
Fourth, take out the butter and rinse it under cold water, kneading while rinsing to remove the last of the buttermilk. If desired, add a pinch of salt and some thyme, basil, chives or cilantro. Use your imagination and the herbs you have available in your yard. Cinnamon and sugar is a favorite of kids. The butter will firm up when refrigerated.
Now you can spread it on bread, pancakes, muffins or baked potatoes.
Since there won’t be any preservatives in your butter, it won’t keep long and should be refrigerated at once. It can also be frozen.
If you don’t feel like you are up to all the shaking, a blender or food processor can also be used. Word of caution from personal experience: Using a standing or hand-held mixer will sling cream all over your kitchen.
Please contact the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.