This fruitful discovery (of course, pun intended) came out of this year’s Fourth of July barbecue. A friend’s roommate was trying to fry a strawberry in butter, failed, and then (in one of those inexplicable moments of sudden genius) decided to, what the heck, just add a whole lot more strawberries. Several minutes and some additions later he had creamy, sweet, and subtly tart strawberry-infused butter. Did I mention that he’s a professional chef? So those of you with raised eyebrows can just put them down now.
Failing to fry strawberries was an awesome, awesome idea. I spread the strawberry butter on my grilled corn on the cob and fell into raptures. There’s no other way to describe it. Even after grilled peach salad, eggplant cheese dip, a whole lot of PBR, and about 20 rounds of illegal fireworks, I was still thinking about that strawberry butter. So the night ended with three of us standing around the pot, silently ripping off hunks of sourdough bread and dipping them, our chins sticky, our mouths shining, and our hearts full with sweet buttery goodness.
There’s the story, and let us never speak of it again.
This strawberry butter is surprisingly versatile. As mentioned above, it pairs so, so nicely with sweet corn on the cob. I can only imagine the blissfully happy union that would occur with asparagus on the scene. Dessert-wise, it can be a spread for bread, pastry, cake or sweet tartines. Or, as I made for a recent potluck, it can be used as a delicious filling/topping for crepes.
For the crepes (pictured above), I made a strawberry butter sauce, which simply means that the sauce was warm, and more liquid, in order to serve as a better topping. The butter can also be prepared as a dip or spread (as for corn on the cob or bread), which means that it congeals into a creamy consistency. The difference is simply the addition of cream and a longer reduction time to steam out the water.
Using clarified butter will help your final product be homogeneous and not separate into tiers of liquid and fat as it cools. To clarify butter, simply melt a quantity of butter at low temperature, skim off the foam that accumulates on top, let the milk solids settle on the bottom, and reserve the clear butter. Incorporating cream into your spread will also help prevent separation and smooth the consistency.
I wasn’t able to get a photo of the strawberry butter spread, but when I do I will update this post to include that alternative.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, clarified
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar, or to taste
- Dice most of the strawberries, reserving a few to slice prettily and one or two for garnish.
- Heat the clarified butter in a skillet. Add the strawberries and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently until liquid is reduced (10 minutes or more), whisking regularly and taking care not to let the butter burn.
- Add sugar as needed to sweeten the sauce.
- Serve immediately as warm sauce for crepes, or serve room-temperature as a spread or dip.