Posted by Olivia at Arbor Teas on February 03, 2011
2010 seemed to be the year of DIY in the food world, and I have no doubt that 2011 will continue to be the same. If the reasons are not for putting up (canning, curing, dehydrating, etc.) to preserve the abundance of harvest for leaner times like our great grandparents used to, or not meant to ease reliance on commercially-packaged, convenience foods, then it's to satiate the curiosity of how basic foodstuffs are produced and to relish in the pure satisfaction that you can DO IT YOURSELF.
Remember taking turns to shake that jar of cream in kindergarten until it thickened and yielded a soft, spreadable butter? Patience-inducing yet awe-inspiring to a 5-year old. Making cultured butter from scratch is just one step up from that sort of classroom demo magic. And using a modern stand mixer makes it an easily approachable task if your kitchen amenities are sans old-fashioned butter churn and butter bats. Furthermore, fresh, liquid cream presents a blank canvas on which you can layer a custom flavor profile at the very foundation, before churning. You can add cultures for tangy-ness as well as ingredients, like tea, that steep best in liquid without altering the final texture. Compound butters, a different approach to flavored butter where herbs, aromatics, syrups or fruit pastes are mashed into solid butter, while good in there own right, offer only the opportunity for flavor afterthoughts, post-churning.
So in the spirit of DIY, I present you with directions for culturing butter and flavoring it using Arbor Teas' organic, loose-leaf tea. Cultured tea butter should not be confused with Tibetan butter tea, a yak milk-derived, fortifying hot beverage for the iron-stomached. This is a wholly different dining experience. I chose two very different Arbor Teas to make two unique flavors. The first was organic genmaicha green tea, which is composed of Japanese green tea leaves mixed with toasted brown rice kernels. This tea flavor brings to mind popcorn, and thus lightly salted butter flavored with genmaicha lends itself to savory applications: smeared on crusty bread or slathered on roasted vegetables. The second was organic masala chai black tea. Redolent with warm spice and delicately sweetened (post-churn) with honey, this makes a welcome addition to a breakfast table spread or to afternoon tea fare.
As a premium for churning your own butter, you will also produce a good amount of deliciously drinkable, tea-flavored buttermilk. I used the excess to make the tiny corn biscuits pictured above. They were a perfect vehicle to deliver taste tests of homemade tea butter (either sweet or savory) to friends. A note of caution, though, before proceeding: you may start consuming more butter then you ever thought necessary.
---->> Read the full recipe here! ---->>
Hope you enjoy this Cooking with Tea Recipe from the Kitchen of Olivia!