Blackberry Honey Butter

butter with french bread and coffee

Breakfast in France is quite different from its American counterpart; the classic French breakfast is a simple Spartan affair.  Le petit déjeuner (breakfast) is typically a light meal consisting of tartines (slices of bread) served with coffee or hot chocolate for the children.  Although fruit and yogurt are slowly becoming more popular breakfast choices, there’s no chance you’ll find eggs or pancakes at the table.

The French favorite at breakfast time remains the baguette which is at its best when still warm and crusty, straight from the bakery, slathered with butter and jam.  Fresh baguette is often bought early in the morning at the neighborhood boulangerie just before breakfast, or in a pinch yesterday’s baguette is sliced and toasted.

blackberry sauce with honey, butter and french bread

Contrary to the enduringly popular belief, croissants are not a daily breakfast for most French families.  Fresh pastries like croissants and pains au chocolats are usually reserved for the weekends or special occasions like when on vacation.

What makes a simple breakfast like tartines sing is the quality of the ingredients, and nothing quite compares to French butter.   Smooth, rich and creamy with a sweet subtle tang, it is spectacular.  It has a golden hue, caramelized nutty flavor and a luxuriously smooth texture.

cultured butter with butter knife

The distinctive flavor derives from the nature of the cream from which it’s made, and from the bacteria indigenous to the dairies where it’s produced. Just as milk inoculated with bacteria yields yogurt, so cream cultured by certain bacteria takes on a form and quality different than in its virgin state. The resulting cultured cream is nuttier and more flavorful than the sweet cream from which most mass-produced butter is made.

Culturing cream is also the first step in making fresh homemade butter.  Making cultured butter is remarkably easy, all it takes is the best purest cream you can find, a few spoonfuls of yogurt, and time. The cream matures for 12 to 24 hours to allow for full development of flavor.  In a day’s time, you will have a thick rich cultured cream, from which the resulting butter is so silky and sweet that it’s tempting to eat it by the spoon.

blackberry honey butter and cultured butter

 

Less sweet than jam, more substantial than plain butter, blackberry honey butter is a delicate marriage of flavors.   The taste is soft and subtle and the texture light yet luscious.  Plump blackberries add sweetness, depth and a jewel-like color to the butter.  I’m smitten with this silky, not-too-sweet butter with personality; it has a bit of edge a smidgen of sass.  It’s voluptuous and the perfect match for those morning tartines; a truly joyful way to start the day.

blackberry honey butter on bread

Kulsum, of Journey Kitchen has graciously invited me to share a breakfast recipe with her readers. Kulsum blogs about modern and traditional Indian cuisine intertwined with her witty accounts of the humorous everyday trials of love and marriage.  She is a dear friend and talented blogger so please join me at Journey Kitchen where I am sharing the recipe for my Blackberry Honey Butter, but before you go, tell me:

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

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  1. Sasha says

    I’d like to make this lovely cultured butter for Christmas. Does it have to be in that temperature range the entire time or is it okay if it cools a little overnight (and it just takes a bit longer??)
    Thanks 🙂

    • says

      Hi Sasha, The important thing is just to let it rest until the mixture is thick so if the temperature is more than 75F it will take about 12 hours to culture but if the temperature is less than 70F it may take closer to 24 hours. Just test it and see if it has thickened enough before using it. It should be the consistency of a loose yogurt. Hope that helps!

      • Sasha says

        Thanks.
        I think I had that consistency,but when I whipped it after refrigerating, it would not break at all! Any idea what I did wrong?

        • says

          Hmm, here are a few thoughts that come to mind: it might have needed a little more time culturing (you can try it up to 36 hours) or that it needed more time whipping (you can try it in a food processor as well for more power), or you could try straining the mixture in a cheesecloth lined strainer before whipping it. It might take some time to break but it should look like curds of butter sitting in a creamy whitish/ yellow liquid. Did you start with heavy cream that was ultra-pasteurized or a yogurt with stabilizers by any chance, that may affect the results as well.

          • Sasha says

            Thanks, I’ll try again sometime. (I had it for 36 hours, heavy cream and yoghurt organic and without additives. There was the tiniest amount of liquid at the bottom, though.Or I didn’t whip long enough. I was getting worried for my (old) hand-mixer and there was just nothing happening at all!)

            And thank you for your beautiful site, honestly. I feel the care in the photographs and the recipes and your descriptions. It’s as much a delight and balm as all of the food when it’s on the table. And I’ve loved all of your recipes!

          • says

            It sounds like it might just have needed a little more time then, if you have a food processor it might be faster that way next time. And thank you for the nice compliment about my site, that’s really very kind of you to say and I’m glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the recipes.

  2. Robert says

    Does anyone know if cultured butter is offered in stores (supermarkets) in France? What is it called? How will I know it.
    Thank you, Sylvie, for an enticing post.
    Robert

  3. says

    Hi Robert,

    Yes cultured butter is actually fairly common in most of Europe. In France it will go under the name beurre de culture or à l’ancienne and is often from Normandie which is know for it’s wonderful dairy products. Hope that helps!

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