Two years ago I accompanied The Goose on his first field trip to a real farm. There, he was given the opportunity to feed a baby goat (which he did, reluctantly), to ride a horse, and to milk a cow (which he absolutely refused to do). But, the most memorable part of the trip was the making of the butter – where the parents took turns shaking a small jar filled with cream until, miraculously, it turned to butter.
Later that year, I decided to try my hand at making butter at home. While it certainly isn’t cheap (a half pint of heavy cream can sometimes cost upwards of $3.00!), it is a fun thing to do with the kids. There is something magical about taking cream, dumping it into a mixer and watching as it slowly transforms into delicious, freshly made butter. When I make homemade butter, I treat it like gold. And I always make a fresh loaf of bread.
1 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste (optional)
Pour the heavy cream (and salt, if you’re using it) into a mixing bowl, and mix on the highest setting (or second to highest setting if the cream is flying all over the place). You can also use a regular hand mixer – you don’t need a stand mixer to make butter!
Keep mixing until the cream passes the whipped cream stage, and the liquids and solids begin to separate.
Once the buttermilk has separated, remove the butter solids from the mixing bowl and give them a firm squeeze, making sure to remove ALL the excess liquid. (If there is liquid in your butter, it will be rancid within a day).
After you removed all the buttermilk, save it! You can use it in pancakes, biscuits, or any other recipe that calls for buttermilk. Fresh butter lasts up to a week in the fridge… but at our house it’s usually gone in a few days.