Monday, January 12, 2015

Compound “Everything” Butter

In the winter months, I am always ready to do my “snow dance”. Unlike most folks who live in the northeast area of the USA, I was thrilled with the amount of snowfall we received last winter! I am hoping for a repeat this year. If the winter weather keeps us home, we avoid cabin fever by making all of our favorite comfort foods. When fellow 37 Cooks member Donna Currie published her new cookbook, Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day, I was immediately drawn to her compound butter recipe. Everyone knows I am not one to bake, but as we all know, everything is better with butter! I loved the idea of using apple in the compound butter, so I honor Donna by keeping apple as the star ingredient. Then I went into high gear figuring out how I would put my personal spin on her recipe. Apples led to brown sugar, then cinnamon, and then everything else you would want melting over hot fluffy pancakes! Thank you, Donna, for the inspiration!! Wishing you much success with this amazing, beautifully written and photographed work of taste/art!!

Compound “Everything” Butter
by Susan R-H
Adapted from Apple and Sage Compound Butter in Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie

1 stick unsalted butter, plus 1 Tablespoon, divided
1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon mascarpone
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (I selected honey crisp)
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest
2 Tablespoons chopped dried cranberries or Craisins
Real maple syrup

In a medium-sized covered bowl, allow the butter to soften, about 6-8 hours. Bring the mascarpone to room temperature at this point. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the pecans on a small baking sheet in a single layer and roast for about 10-12 minutes. Time will vary depending on your oven. Set aside. Heat 1Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Sauté until the apples just start to become tender and very fragrant, approximately 7-9 minutes. Transfer the apples to a plate and allow them to cool. Using a large whisk, combine the orange zest, dried cranberries/Craisins, apples and pecans with the softened butter and mascarpone. Take a large piece of plastic wrap and scrape the compound in the middle. Fold all ends and roll the compound butter into a log. My personal favorite method is to fold the sides over and “spin” the butter with the ends to create a log of butter. I tie the ends and refrigerate until it sets. Most folks have a go-to recipe for pancakes. I like to take the butter out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before making pancakes. Allow the butter to melt over the hot pancakes and drizzle with a good quality maple syrup. I am serving my pancakes with a locally sourced sage sausage. Sage. Another nod to Donna. I am so very proud of her new cookbook!

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