12/15/2011 05:32 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Your Own Butter

Butter! Is there anything like it -- anything that tastes so sweet, creamy and rich? The best butter is always the freshest. But not all (er, none) of us have a butter churner at home, nor want to actually sit and churn for hours and hours like an old maid. We'd sooner run out to the supermarket and buy it!

British food writer and television personality Stefan Gates has created an easy way to make your own butter. His latest book, The Extraordinary Cookbook, goes where no cookbook has gone before -- with recipes for some unique dishes prepared in unusual ways, like butter made in a jam jar. As Stefan says, "There's a lovely sense of discovery in making your own butter, especially when you then spread it on bread and eat it immediately. I can't recommend this recipe enough -- it couldn't be easier, and it's lots of fun."

Stefan's Butter Recipe In A Jam Jar

Butter is simply cream or milk that has been churned until the watery buttermilk separates from the butterfat, and this is easily done by pouring some room-temperature heavy cream into a jam jar and shaking it for a few minutes. The buttery fat coagulates into a handsome lump in the middle of a pool of watery buttermilk. The buttermilk is drained away, and the remaining butter is ready for use. It tastes a little creamier than normal butter because you won't be able to extract quite as much buttermilk as the dairy can, but it's still delicious. If the cream is cold from the fridge it will still work, but it'll take a lot longer (10-15 minutes) and it will go through a disheartening whipped-cream stage that you may feel will never end!

You'll need:

  • 4 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 6 medium-sized jam jars, very clean
  • fresh crusty bread and salt, to serve

Browse the step-by-step slideshow to learn how the butter is made.