Whipped cream in a jar

Last weekend I did a demo at the farmers’ market where I showed kids (and parents) fun ideas for birthdays, parties or regular ol’ summer afternoons when there’s more energy on the shorter contingent of the household than the taller one.

It was a hit.

A good project for a birthday party, kids can make their own whipped cream by measuring the 3 ingredients and then shaking them up in mason jar. Afterward, dip summer berries in their jars for a sweet, but not super-sugary treat.

Here’s the ratio of ingredients for a half-pint mason jar:

1/4 cup whipping or heavy cream

1/2 tsp powdered sugar

drop or two of vanilla extract

It takes about 2-3 minutes of vigorous shaking for this amount of cream to thicken and fluff up. And if your charges have a lot of energy, they can keep shaking and you’ll enjoy homemade butter on your toast.

Homemade butter in a jar

From this point (see photo above), you’ll want to refrigerate the jar for a bit to let the ball o’ butter firm up. Remove the butter ball from the liquid around it (true buttermilk!), save the liquid and use it as you would store bought buttermilk. Put the butter ball on a large cutting board and have your kid or someone tilt the cutting board so liquid runoff will be able to slide off easily and not soak back in. (Propping the cutting board it against your body works too.) Use spatulas or dough scrapers to push as much buttermilk out of the butter as you can, this will help keep your butter from going rancid.

The upside of the whipping cream gone too far version is the powdered sugar you added to the cream. You’ve effectively made sweet cream butter. Add a pinch of salt and try not to eat the whole jar in one sitting.