During the six months we lived in France last year, I gained a much bigger appreciation of butter. There is something about French butter that is - better: it's creamier, it's smoother, it's better. I knew homemade butter was likely to taste better then store bought, so I was willing to give it a try. The process is simple, yet rewarding and is a wonderful activity for little hands.
Start by sterilizing some containers - I don't think this is necessary, but it felt clean and seemed the right way to start (we steamed reused glass bottles for 10 minutes). I filled the jars 2/3 full of room temperature heavy cream.
Next we went outside and started shaking.
We shook and shook, and danced and shook, and sang and shook. Finley gave us a drum beat and we shook some more.
The cream went through a series of stages while we shook. First it turned to whipped cream. Then it started to look a bit grainy. And then all of a sudden in one shake it separated and turned to butter and buttermilk - almost instantly. We shook for about15 minutes before the butter formed.
Once the butter and milk separated, cover the jar with cheesecloth and drain away the buttermilk. Next you need to clean the butter. Fill the jar with cold water and drain the water off until the water runs clear (about 10 times). You probably can do this step without the cheesecloth if you don't have any since the butter is so solid.
Finally dump the butter out and squeeze the water out using a spoon or a spatula.
You're done! Spread your butter on bread, or add salt or flavoring (apple, etc) and enjoy
We'll definitely be making this again!