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Has anyone tried it before and how was the result?

What are the steps and what ingredients and kitchen tools do I need?

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As there's specifically the restriction on machinery, it's not an exact duplicate, but it might as well be, as the jar technique (minus the item to agitate that @sqillman mentioned) was described there, so it's effectively answered. – Joe Jul 29 '10 at 3:28
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Take double cream (you want a 48% milk fat, which is hard to get in the U.S. outside of a specialty market; heavy cream has a 30-40% milk fat content) and shake it. Forever. To be more specific, after sealing your double cream in, say, a jam jar, shake it until you hear the sloshing sound of butter forming (which will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour); drain the liquid off and then rinse the butter until the water runs clearly over it. Squeeze your butter (I use cheese cloth or a linen napkin for this) to rid it of excess liquid (excess liquid can lead to rancidity), shape it into a block, and wrap it with wax paper.

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A traditional way that I learned while growing up is to do it in a jar, but it yields smaller quantities so you might have do it more often.

Basically, you fill a glass jar (canning jar or something similar) with heavy cream and put a small marble in it. You can use anything that will stay clean, it's just to provide agitation. Shake the jar for a while. After a little while you will see it start to form as the butterfat and the buttermilk separate. Continue shaking until you have a solid mass of butter. There will still be liquid, that will be buttermilk. The rest will be butter. You can add a pinch of salt if desired. Once you have a single solid mass of butter poor the buttermilk out. You can save it and use it for other recipes (pancakes, biscuits, etc). Using a pint of cream it took 10-15 minutes for the butter to form completely.

I'm sure there are other ways to do the agitation. I mixer on low speed will probably do the trick but you'll obviously need to watch out for splash.

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If you have a Kitchenaid stand mixer (or I suppose any kind of stand mixer) with a "paddle" attachment (like the "K" thing in a Kitchenaid; something that's not like a whisk), you can make butter in that at the lowest speed. It'll splash around at first of course.

In my experience, butter made with store-bought heavy cream doesn't taste as special as you might think. Good-quality "cultured" butter, if you can find it, tastes a lot more buttery.

Now if you can get double cream from a local dairy (which in the US may be questionably legal, if you care about such things), then I'm sure it's possible to make really good butter.

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