I grew up in the “margarine era”…….soft spread was one of the heralded convenience foods every house had adopted. But butter always held a special place for it’s taste. The new “news” that butter might not be so bad for us after all and, well, margarine might hold all kinds of bad things for us, was met with pleasant satisfaction that the cows were right. They did have our best interests at heart~no pun intended.
Better Butter is our answer to the convenience of a soft spread but is made of part oil and butter. It retains the wonderful taste of butter but is probably a bit healthier with the addition of an oil and certainly easier to use than hard butter from the refrigerator.
1 pound butter, unsalted or salted (you will add more salt if you use unsalted…duh)
2 cups oil
1/2 teaspoon lecithin (you can find this supplement in the nutrition stores–it is optional but helps keep the better butter solid longer at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
I like to use my food processor, although, I admit it’s greasy–I usually just scrape the bowl with my rubber spatula and put it in the dishwasher :).
Like so much of my cooking, I have altered this recipe with other additions: plain yogurt (low-fat or whole milk) or buttermilk in small amounts cut the fat a bit and add a bit of tang. I might use 1/4 cup in a batch if I have it on hand. You can adjust the recipe to fit your needs–1 cube of butter to 1/4 cup oil, etc. To be honest, I never measure at all when making it; this blog has spurred me to being more disciplined to pay attention to my methods.
I store the butter in easy to use plastic containers (do not use the disposable rimmed storage containers–they make a mess; stay with the rubber sealed or screw top lids). You could also use recycled margarine/cottage cheese, yogurt containers, but I like clear plastic so I can see it!
The original recipe is from my tattered copy of Laurel’s Kitchen (1976)……..I was a student of this cookbook for years and just yesterday picked up a copy of the New Laurel’s Kitchen from our local library to see what’s new! I think better butter would be just the right spread for Sarah’s fig muffins!