Homemade Flavored Butter

Homemade herb butter on bread / Photo by E. A. Wright
Homemade herb butter on bread / Photo by E. A. Wright

FLAVORED BUTTER

As good as butter is on bread, flavored butter is even better. Here's how dress up butter with herbs and honey, along with tips for making your own butter at home.

ADDING FLAVOR TO BUTTER

Allow a stick of store bought butter to soften, then mix in your preferred flavoring with a fork. This takes a little extra time and dirties an extra bowl, but it's a nice touch for a fancy meal. Some suggestions:

  • 2 T honey
  • 1/2 T dried basil and 1/2 T dried thyme
  • 1 T dried tarragon
  • 2 to 3 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • a small handful of fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • chopped, fresh chives
  • 1 T dried dill weed

Making butter / Photo by E. A. Wright
Making butter / Photo by E. A. Wright

ABOUT BUTTER

Butter is merely a form of cream. Churn cream long enough — as was once done in barrel-shaped butter churns — and the cream slowly transforms. First it becomes a frothy liquid, then it turns into stiffer whipped cream that will hold its shape. With more churning, whipped cream stiffens even more and solidifies into soft butter.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTER

Transforming cream into butter can be done relatively quickly in an electric mixer. Just keep beating the cream at a high speed. The process goes more quickly with a small amount of cream. When you have soft butter, that's the time to mix in any flavorings (such as chopped herbs, honey, lemon or garlic).

Making your own butter will not work if you are starting with:

  • half and half
  • milk or lowfat milk
  • creamer
  • whipped toppings

The bottom line is that you need to use real cream with enough fat in it if you expect butter to be the result.

TIPS ON PRESENTATION

Flavored butter, whether made with butter from the store or butter made at home, can look a little messy in the mixing dish. To tidy it up: place the soft butter on a tray or mold and let it harden in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Molding the butter allowing it to harden is an extra step that is not strictly necessary for taste or texture. (Unless, that is, you're making flavored butter when it is very hot and humid, chilling the flavored butter will keep others from mistaking it for sauce!) Usually, firming flavored butter is just about looks.

Serve the flavored butter with a sprig or two of fresh herbs or a slice of lemon. Another way to add extra flair is to try topping the butter with edible flowers such as nasturtiums.


Honey butter topped with an extra drizzle of honey / Photo by E. A. Wright
Honey butter topped with an extra drizzle of honey / Photo by E. A. Wright

BUTTER FLAVORS: MORE ABOUT HERBS AND LEMONS

  • Starting a Culinary Herb Garden At Home

    When you cultivate your own mix of fresh herbs, you'll be unconstrained by the varieties usually sold in a supermarket. The only limits are your time, patience and gardening skill.

  • The One Window Herb Garden

    Even if only one window in your house or apartment gets good light, it's possible to start an herb garden and find satisfaction in harvesting pinches and sprigs of your own homegrown herbs.

  • The Meyer Lemon

    Comparing a Meyer lemon to the lemons typically sold in supermarkets is a bit like comparing an apple to a bunch of oranges. Everything is different: the taste, the color, the shape even the thickness of the skin. Meyer lemons are milder, sweeter.

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Comments 2 comments

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Love this flavored butter hub, thank you for sharing


bingskee profile image

bingskee 6 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

i remembered we tried putting cheese and pepper in the butter. it enhanced the flavor.

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