Monday, November 28, 2011

Homemade Butter

For lactose intolerant people, we have made homemade butter puzzlingly often.  It's been a favorite activity among many groups we've been involved with though.  I must admit it is easy and fun.

If you have never tried it, here's how it's done.

You'll need:

  • 1 small container of  heavy cream
  • Disposable mini condiment container or mini plastic storage container with lid (one for each person)


  1. Fill container with cream (or cream plus salt if you added it) about half full.  
  2. Fasten the lid securely.  
  3. Shake, shake, shake.  Don't get too vigorous.  You'll tire yourself out and it won't form any faster.  Steady shakes work best. 
  4. Some people place a clean marble in the container to speed things up

After several minutes of vigorous shaking (think butter churn), you will get a solid glob of butter and some liquid (buttermilk).   Pour off the buttermilk and use the butter right away.  If you want to make a lot of butter to use later, you need to wash it or the buttermilk residue will turn it sour.  Instructions for that can be found here.  We've never tried this, as we usually hand off our butter to someone who can eat it!

Cooking science links:

Dairy Science and Technolgy - Very detailed discussion of  butter making. Best for older students
Butter making video explains the science in a kid friendly way

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