Monday, February 10, 2014

Make butter by Shaking up Heavy Cream

Did you know that if you shake heavy cream long enough, it will make butter?  *Pause for effect*  Yup.  It's true.  It takes about 20-25 minutes to turn 1/2 a pint of heavy cream into butter.  You don't even need special equipment to do it!  How do I know?  Because I roped hubby into making some homemade butter with me this past weekend!

Let's Make Homemade Butter from Heavy Cream!

Make easy homemade butter by shaking up heavy cream

Why this sudden interest in making homemade butter?  Don't worry, I'm not swearing off all processed foods.  I recently found out that February 7th was Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday.  She was one of my favorite authors as a young girl.  I loved reading Little House on the Prairie and thought this would be a great way to celebrate her (and try out some cool food science too.)

Keep reading to see how we made our own homemade butter from heavy cream!

Materials to Make Homemade Butter:

  • 1/2 pint of heavy cream
  • Small container with tightly fitting lid
  • Fork
  • Optional:  Salt for flavor and silicone molds

Directions to Make Homemade Butter:

1.  Pour your 1/2 pint of heavy cream into a small container with a tight lid.  (Make sure the lid is tightly sealed so you don't have liquid leaking out!)

2.  Now shake your heavy cream vigorously for about 20-25 minutes.  (This will be a team effort.  I was thoroughly exhausted after 10 minutes.)

Science note:  Why does this work?  Well, when you shake the heavy cream, all the fat molecules get shaken too and they stick together. Now if you keep shaking, more and more molecules will stick together and separate from the liquid.  Now you've got butter!   (Need more science?  Read here for a longer explanation.)

How to make butter by shaking up heavy cream

3.  Open your container.  See the soft solid stuff?  That's the soft butter that has separated from the heavy cream.  (High five you food scientist!  You're on your way to creamy butter!)

4.  Pour out the liquid and keep the solid butter.  Use a fork to smooth everything out.  (Optional:  Mix in a bit of salt for flavor!)

5.  To make different shaped butter globs, spread some of your soft butter into flexible silicone molds.

6.  Put your butter in the fridge over night.  It will harden!  Now spread your butter on a piece of toast and enjoy!

easy recipe for making homemade butter with kids (Great science and food activity!)

Have fun, food scientists!  (And thank you Laura Ingalls Wilder for sharing your story and inspiring my childhood many, many years ago.)

Interested in other cool things you can do with food?  Check out these links below!

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Happy making, friends!