I got a great buy on organic cream a week and a half ago, and this morning I decided to show the kids how to turn it into butter. This is a fun and simple activity for kids of all ages, two and up – it’s like magic to see cream turn into butter before their eyes!
All you need is heavy cream and a container with a lid. I used a glass jar, but if you’re going to let a two year old do this, use a plastic jar, like an empty mayonnaise jar with a tight fitting lid. You can even use a disposable water bottle – it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s something that will close tightly and be easy for your child to handle.
Pour a cup of heavy cream into the container, making sure not to fill the container more than half way, and tightly close the lid. Hand it to your child and tell them to shake it until it turns into butter. That’s it. At first the cream will become whipped cream – we stopped and let them taste at this point. Then as they continue shaking it, it will form a solid ball as the liquid separates. This takes a lot of shaking – great to use up some little kid energy!
If you’ve used a narrow plastic container like a water bottle, cut it open (since the ball of butter obviously won’t fit through the opening); otherwise just open the container and pour out the liquid. Reserve the liquid to use for soaking flour or grains; pour out the butter and put it in a closed container in the fridge.
We gave each of our kids a small container to put the finished butter in, and after smoothing it into the container, they marked their butter with their initial. I let my ds7 and ds3 make this first, and everyone else was so interested that they asked if they could also make some. It’s a good thing I bought a lot of cream! For the first batch we didn’t add salt, but I told the kids who wanted to make it afterwards that they could decide if they wanted to salt theirs, and choose the kind of salt and proportions they wanted to use.
My kids were wondering if it was cheaper to make butter than to buy it, so naturally I told them to figure it out. But I’ll do the math for you. 😀 A pint of heavy cream yields a half pound of butter. Since I bought the cream at the low price of .79, our homemade organic butter comes out to 1.58 lb, which is cheaper than regular non-organic butter (which is what I usually buy).