I’m in the throes of my early-summer torrid love affair with strawberries. It’s an annual thing and, over the years, I’ve learned not to fight it. Instead, I embrace it—juice stained fingers, seeds in my teeth, and all. This year, I’ve been delighting my way through pint after pint in a few ways: strawberries sliced over a bowl of creamy yogurt, my first bites of the morning; plucked whole from the box, pinching the stem between my thumb and forefinger as I bite away the juicy flesh; baked into a simple but delicious cake.
But now I’ve got another strawberry destination to add to that list and it comes in the form of a small pot of strawberry honey butter. It’s essentially a sweet spin on compound butter and, like a pouchful of fairy dust, it magically makes everything it touches taste better.
The process is simple: puree whole strawberries and pass them through a sieve, to strain away the seeds and any under-ripe bits. Gently boil the puree with a squeeze of honey and lemon juice, until it reduces a bit and takes on some body. While it cools to room temperature, pull your butter out of the fridge (if you haven’t already) so that it can soften up. Once everything comes to room temperature, whip together the puree and butter until you’ve got a gorgeously pink and creamy bowl of butter.
Transfer the butter to an airtight container and promptly begin scheming up all the things you can slather the stuff on. Along the way, you’ll fall even harder for strawberries, I can guarantee. But you’ll also realize that this thing you’ve got going with strawberries is far too good to resist it.
Adapted from Gourmet
1 pint strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
In a food processor purée the strawberries and force the purée through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the honey and the lemon juice and boil the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until it is thickened. Let the strawberry mixture cool to room temperature. Season with salt, to taste.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, begin to cream together the butter and the strawberry mixture until it is blended but not yet smooth. Beat the mixture in the stand mixer for several minutes, until the butter becomes smooth and creamy. Let the butter stand, covered, in a cool place for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.