2 Buttery Cooking Projects—One to Spark Joy Now, Another for Deliciousness Later

A showdown between our community's two most butter-ful classics.

April  1, 2020
Photo by Ty Mecham

Since opening our latest recipe contest, Your Best Recipe Starring Butter, for submissions last winter, much has changed.

We’ve all found ourselves turning homewards—spending more time with family (and doing it creatively), reviving neglected starters, organizing everything twice, even oiling up squeaky oven doors.

Whether for comfort, sheer sustenance, or out of boredom, we’re all cooking and a baking at home a lot more. We’re also going off-recipe, swapping in this ingredient here, making a clever substitution there. The meals (and cocktails!) we’ve shared, over Zoom and across the table, are imbued with laughter, coziness, and gratitude. Cooking has been a sure way to nourish ourselves—mind, body, and spirit—while things outside remain uncertain.

Despite, or perhaps in spite, of this, we’re very excited to announce the two finalists of our latest recipe contest. Both recipes feel important for our current moment: One is mindful of the pantry, while the other is therapeutic, celebratory.

1. Miso Caramel Tarte Tatin

OUR MODERN KITCHEN wowed us with this genius move: upping the umami in a salted caramel with the help of none other than deep, funky-sweet red miso. The butter crust comes together effortlessly, and assembly is enjoyable, not-too-difficult—a lovely kind of therapy, if you ask us.

2. Achiote Roux Brick

SAVORTHIS uses butter here to carry flavor in 2 genius ways: to bloom the spices, and build the roux. These richly spiced roux bricks have been breathing new life (and excitement!) into our pantry and freezer meals.

Please join us in giving OUR MODERN KITCHEN and SAVORTHIS virtual elbow bumps in the comments section below! If you can, try one or both of these at home, and vote for your favorite by heading over to our contest page. You have now until 12 p.m. ET on Apr. 8 to tell us which recipe you found butteriest. We’ll announce the winner at 12 p.m. ET on Apr. 9.

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Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.

1 Comment

Smaug April 2, 2020
There are a lot of theories about the origin of Tarte Tatin, including that it started with a pie that was dropped, and that it was done on purpose to avoid a soggy crust (I've never seen a recipe that involved thickening the filling with starch or anything else). There is also strong evidence that it was a not invented by the Tatin sisters at all, but that it was a popular local recipe that they adapted in their restaurant