Some may like a spoonful or sugar, but for me I would happily fill mine with butter. I've had a deliciously long romance with the creamy treat, swapping salted for unsalted and leaning towards the rich european style with a welcomed tanginess on the taste buds. My heart has grown so fondly of butter that I have even purchased an oh so special butter dish that surrounds the dairy delight in the prettiest glass patterns.
It's been swirled with warmed maple syrup, pink sea salt, fresh herbs, cinnamon and other spices and syrups, until one morning when I stumbled upon a steeped revelation. As winter tumbled outside my window, I was gleefully toasting a piece of pannetone (the italian sweet bread loaf) and generously spreading (ok, slathering) the toasted bready caverns with butter. The first bite was immediately followed by a long sip of steaming earl grey tea. All at once and yet every so slowly the bold black tea was softened by richness of butter, and then lifted up with citrus notes of bergamot in the tea and orange zest of the pannetone, and then tied together with a ribbon of sweetness from the dried fruit and sugar in the italian bread. And that one taste is what led me to create my very first batch of earl grey tea butter.
A simple recipe of ingredients, each with their own purpose and place to shine. The butter base is a mixture of softened unsalted and salted butter (just a touch of salt for balance) that's infused with an earl grey tea concentrate and ground earl grey tea leaves (a double infusion for a bold earl grey flavor). And then there's the lemon juice and orange zest to play upon the bergamot citrus notes int he earl grey tea followed by a dose of honey to let everything sing sweetly. Mix, mix, mix and chill to set. Be sure to lick the spoon.
While a generous spread on toast with a pot of earl grey tea is my go-to pairing, this steeped butter can be melted over popcorn, roasted with chicken or left to sizzle around an egg frying in a pan for a morning sandwich. And, of course, you can bake it into any sweet treat that calls for butter. Maybe consider baking earl grey shortbread cookies to pair with Joanna Hawley's (jojotastic) earl grey infused cocktail, the earl greyhound for the happiest of hours.
Keep reading for the recipe...