Date Butter

We got the idea to make this fun condiment/treat when we went to a really cool pizza-making class at Lincoln (one of my favorite PDX restaurants) with Chef Jenn Louis, which was really fun and very informative and also very yummy. A few takeaways: there is a TON of olive oil in professionally-made pizzas… and that is totally ok and delicious. Also: I need to buy a pizza peel.

At the class, Jenn just happened to have about a quart (?! awesome? oh, to be a gourmet chef) of fig butter lying around, and she put some of it on top of an (incredible) pizza. We got to the store the next day and decided to replicate it with dates, instead.

And really, there is just no way to replace homemade butter. Since we have no cows, it probably isn’t cost effective to make it full time. but it sure is a treat, and this special variation is no exception.

One of the most glorious things about homemade butter, though, is how easy it is. Just turn on the switch of your stand mixer and let it go.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1.5 or so cups of heavy cream (anything low fat defies the point of making butter 🙂 )
  • 4-5 dates
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, or more/less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

I suspect that you will need more salt than this. I was a little light handed, and if you think about it, the reason bacon-wrapped dates are SO amazing is that salty-sweet combination. This is another way to make it happen.

Using the whisk attachment (or a hand mixer), put the cream in the bowl of the mixer, lock it in place and turn it onto medium speed for about 10 minutes, maybe more. The cream will first become whipped cream, and then will start to separate, and will eventually be just a couple of large chunks. That is when it’s ready to go.

While the soon-to-be-butter is churning, toast the dates in a low oven or a toaster oven for about ten minutes.

Take the butter out and dry it with a paper towel. Reserve the rest of the liquid in the bowl – remember, that’s buttermilk!

Put the butter back in the bowl and add the dates (diced finely, at this point), the salt and the vanilla. Mix again just to combine evenly, and taste to make sure you’ve salted the correct amount. Serve with good bread. And also – this is great for breakfast. Yum.

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