Butter’s Better!

Let's taste it!

As part of the MAITC ReadME project, second graders at Guilford Primary School learned how to make butter! Since then, many of the kids have asked for the “recipe” so they can try this at home. (Of course that means with permission and adult help!) Here are the steps:

  1. Start with clean hands heavy whipping cream. Don’t try any “low fat” options because it’s the milk fat that makes the butter! Cream or milk contains fat in the form of drops suspended in the liquid. The reason this process works is that the shaking of the container forces the fat drops to come together and stick.
  2. Get a glass jar with a lid that fits tight. Make sure it is very clean and sanitized. A canning jar like the one we used in class works great or use baby food jars to make individual portions.
  3. Leave the cream out until it reaches room temperature–at least an hour. You can start with it being cold but it will take longer.
  4. Consider making this a family project.  The jar has to be shaken and shaken hard for a while, so you might want to get everybody together and put on some dancing music to accompany your shaking!
  5. Fill the jar almost to the top. You can add a little salt for flavor and screw the lid on tightly.
  6. Better Butter!

  7. Shake the jar! How long it will take will depend on many things such as how much cream and how warm it is, but plan on at least 10-20 minutes. You may be able see the butter developing and you may hear a “plop, plop” as the lump of butter starts to form.
  8. Scoop out the butter… what’s left is called “buttermilk” and you can drink it! You can make the butter harder by running cold water over it or putting it on ice.
  9. Homemade butter goes great on lots of things, but don’t forget to refrigerate any you don’t eat immediately!

The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Project encourages students to learn about agriculture. The state-wide program involves volunteer readers visiting schools (Valley Grange Bookworms visited 15 classrooms) to read from a book provided by MAITC. This year’s book was written specifically about Maine and every classroom visited gets a copy for their class library. For more information visit the MAITC link on this page.

And don’t forget we’ll be celebrating Guilford Primary School on April 16th!

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1 Comment

  1. Walter Boomsma

     /  March 27, 2010

    I’ve enjoyed hearing from many of the kids how much they enjoyed making butter at home! Special thanks to Macee for bring some to school and making sure I got to sample her batch… YUM!

    Some of you have asked about the difference between butter and whipped cream. I was not sure so I looked it up.

    Both are made from heavy cream. Butter is made by churning (or shaking) to separate the fat–just like we did in class. The fat becomes a solid and we are left with buttermilk.

    Whipped cream is made by whisking which mixes air into the cream to create a semi-solid. Whisking is like fluffing up the cream. That’s why we call it “whipped!”

    Another difference is that we add a little salt to the butter but we add sugar to the whipped cream.


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