Cost: Around $2
Success: 4/5 (The butter was great, but not much cheaper.)
When I found out I could easily make butter in a canning jar, I was pretty excited. I have a bunch of unused canning jars from my brief stint in perfume-making (honestly, can I stick to anything???) and the only other thing I needed was some heavy cream. The idea is that you put the cream into a canning jar and shake until something happens. On the site it said this would take about 25 minutes. In practice, it was closer to 45.
I shook and I shook and I shook. I updated my Facebook status with my phone using only one hand. That was tricky. I wandered around. Sometimes I felt like I was using a shake-weight, and I probably was getting a similar workout. The mixture got foamier, which I later realized was the ‘whipping cream’ stage. I had to pour out some liquid (conveniently, into my coffee) so the cream had enough room to move around.
I called my Mom to ask for her expertise, because my Mom knows almost everything. She told me about the time my sister’s first husband was making whipping cream and he whipped too long and ended up with butter. While I was shaking and talking to her, suddenly there was a thump, and my solids had separated from the liquids!
It’s a magical moment when that happens. After oh-so-much shaking, there is one final shake where the fats clump on one side of the jar, separating from the liquids. From there on, it’s only a couple more minutes of shaking and draining until you have some lovely butter!
It was soft, and I easily mixed in some herbs (which were in full effect a few days later, after the flavour had worked in.).
I wanted to give it another try with my hand mixer. I filled the cup about 3/8 of the way. That’s the number my Mom gave me, and she was right on. Any more and it would have flown out when I mixed it.
There was a little incident when I absent-mindedly let go of the cup though. Whoopsie!
I mixed for about five minutes, then poured it into a canning jar and shook for a short while until it started to clump. The result was a much harder butter. I mixed it with some salt.
After refrigerating, both butters were hard. On the first day, the butter didn’t have any character, and it was obvious that I was eating pure fat. Once the flavours sunk in, it tasted like fresh store-bought butter.
After two weeks, the unsalted butter started to smell funny. I’m not sure if this is because it didn’t have any salt to keep it fresh, or because there was a bit of old liquid still in the jar.