Geographic opposites be damned! Maple syrup and orange zest are a great combination when bound together with the light, fluffy goodness of butter.
In my last CSA newsletter, I wrote about assorted compound (flavored) butters that can be used to jazz up cooked winter squash. Well, I had an acorn squash calling to me… “Bake me! Bake me!” So I did. And it was good – don’t get me wrong. It was sweet and nutty and wonderful.
I thought I’d do a nice thing and get my darling boy involved in dinner preparations yet again. So I left a stick of butter out to soften up, I had an orange ready for zesting and the maple syrup ready to be measured (because I like HIM to do that part… once a teacher, always a teacher).
And then Daddy brought him home from the dentist. Where he did fine, I should say. In fact, when the doctor came in and said, “hello THomas”, my darling baby replied, “it’s Thomas. The H is silent.” *palm meet forehead* Guess I should have expected this since I make The Boy figure out words by using the rules rather than just telling him.
Needless to say, we had a rough night that culminated in him sitting in his room for 30 minutes while I watched Little House on the Prairie alone. You see, I’ve gotten my little lovebug hooked on Pa and Half-Pint. It’s either the show content or the fact that we snuggle on the couch under a warm blanket and eat popcorn for an hour. Whatever we watch, though, it’s still a wonderful thing to spend that kind of time with my son. It’s GOOD for him to not be running around with the cat in his arms and him screaming like a banshee. I hate that.
But it’s winter, and he’s housebound for the most part because I don’t do winter anymore. I don’t own snowclothes. Although, I am convinced that if I actually PURCHASE snow gear we won’t have any more snow, and for that I think EVERYONE would be thankful.
So, I ended up making a nice little batch of Maple-Orange Butter the first time he was sent to his room that night. I couldn’t hear his shrieks and less-than-complimentary review of my parenting skills over the sound of the Kitchen Aid, so it was worth it. I topped my baked squash with it that night, but for the next 3 days, toast was my snack of choice. And the spread? Maple-Orange Butter.
I bet it would be TO DIE FOR on some Pecan Scones… Maybe Janet will read this and give it a shot? I’ll make the butter… and coffee! Wink, wink!
1 stick unsalted Butter, room-temperature, softened
2-3T REAL Maple Syrup, room temperature
zest of 1 Orange
Using paddle attachment, whip the butter until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low, gradually drizzle in the syrup. Add zest, then increase speed to medium and whip for another minute or so.
You can also just whip it by hand, which sounds both kinky and exhausting.
Cutting butter into bits and letting it sit at room temperature helps it soften faster.
My favorite 4 oz measuring glass broke, so I’m left with a smaller 2 oz glass. It’s perfect for measuring things like honey, ketchup, soy sauce and oils. I love having this thing in my kitchen!
Microplane grater is perfect for zesting any citrus fruit.
Once the softened butter has been whipped, slowly drizzle in the maple syrup. It’s very important that the butter and syrup be nearly the same temperature. You don’t want the syrup to crystalize.
Lastly, beat in the orange zest. Be sure to taste a bit.
Flavored butters can be refrigerated or even frozen for longer storage.
Maple-Orange Butter makes ordinary toast something special!
What? You don’t have a baggie full of butter wrappers in YOUR freezer? Save them for greasing cake pans and cookie sheets.