Making butter is easy. You only need one ingredient: heavy cream. You can use cream from raw milk or purchase heavy whipping cream with a high fat content from the store.

There are three different tools you can use to make butter: a jar with a lid, a food processor or a stand mixer. There's a good chance you have at least one of these in your kitchen.

Homemade butter from a jar

Get ready to shake, shake, shake your way to butter. Put your cream in a jar with a lid, and make sure it's a jar that can hold twice the amount of liquid that you start with; that will give you plenty of room to shake up the cream. Shake the cream hard. After a few minutes, it will turn into whipped cream. Keep going until the cream separates and you're left with solid butter and buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk off (and save it for use in homemade ranch dressing). You can use the butter as is at the point, or you can rinse, as shown in the video above, until all the buttermilk has been removed and you're left with nothing but pure butter.

Homemade butter from a food processor

If you want let a machine do the work for you, you can use a food processor. It's much quicker than using a jar, and the food processor can also handle the step of rinsing the butter to remove even more buttermilk.

Homemade butter from a stand mixer

Using a stand mixer isn't all that different from using a food processor. The machine will do most of the work for you, including rinsing the butter. If you don't have a stand mixer but you do have an electric hand mixer and a sturdy bowl, you can still use the stand mixer method. You'll just have to be more hands-on.

Remember that your butter will have no preservatives in it. It will sour like milk. According to Bon Appetit, the refrigerator shelf life of homemade butter depends on how much buttermilk is left in it. If there's a good amount, the butter won't last beyond a week. If you extract as much as possible, it can keep for two to three weeks. From personal experience, I can tell you that once your butter goes bad, you'll know as soon as you open the door of the fridge.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.