Make Ahead

Mustard butter, live

August 21, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes 3/4 cup (with mix-ins)
Author Notes

If you want to taste, or rediscover, the difference between store-bought and made-from-scratch, then you should make your own butter. You can simply spice and compound, season it mustard-style, perhaps add black sesame, and then add finely chopped live herbs to give this more personality, if you like. As a new fan of the bánh mì, I wanted to customize my own condiments. Since I do not like wasabi mayonaise, which one local restaurant offers, mustard butter is the path I have taken. You could finely mince any herb, vegetable or fruit of your choice to create a distinctive personality for your mustard butter.You could choose mustard greens, pea greens, onions, dill, or any fresh ingredient that would enhance the flavor you envision. I also like to include a bit of anchovy. You can add a few drops of fish sauce or tamari to enhance the flavor. In one of my versions you can see pea pods added in. The freshly made butter will be runny in process, but you can use the created buttermilk in other recipes. Tumeric will give you a brilliant yellow color and slightly bitter edge. See my variations. You can use this more as a pâté, it is so good. I rarely use as much butter as I have shown in some of the bánh mì photographs, but wanted you to see both the "rich slather" and the more "delicate dab" styles for the bánh mì. You can see the wide range of colors possible, as well, which suggest the range of flavors. If you start with 1 cup of heavy cream, you will have roughly 1/2 cup of actual butter and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. A great illustrated step by step tutorial is available about making butter with a stand mixer on cooking with engineers at: - Sagegreen —Sagegreen

Test Kitchen Notes

Making your own butter is very satisfying, and easy too. Just keep whipping heavy cream until the solids separate from the liquids, add mustard and play around with the herbs and spices Sagregreen suggests until you've perfected your own signature mustard butter. - Stephanie —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup heavy cream, organic preferred
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons ground mustard seed, to taste
  • 1/2-1 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • sprinkle of tumeric for color and more bitter flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely minced herbs/vegetable/fruit, such as white scallion, lime leaf basil, cilantro, pea pod tendrils, mustard greens
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped anchovy, optional, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mirin, rice wine vinegar, cider vinegar or even lime or lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • a few drops of fish sauce, tamari or other flavoring, optional
  1. In a blender process the cream until it turns to a soft butter. You can pour off the excess liquid, the buttermilk, (which you can use for something else) and then mash the drained butter with a fork or potato masher. Or see the mixer method clearly illustrated, step by step, in the link to my comment below from "cooking for engineers."
  2. Add the mustard, mustard seed, any other spice you may want for variation, and sesame to the butter. Incorporate as much liquid as you can by whisking it in. Chill for an hour before continuing if that is a problem for you.
  3. To your finely minced fresh herbs/vegetables/fruit, add the mirin, vinegar, or citrus juice, other flavorings, and salt. Toss and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Can you eliminate this step? Yes, but this dressing enhances the add-ins, if you have the time. Add the optional chopped/finely minced anchovy.
  4. Mix in your "dressed" or "undressed" concoction to the butter. An another alternative is to process these together in a blender, if you want more of a final pureed vs. rustic style. Sometimes I do a combination of the two.
  5. Dab or slather this on your torpedo roll or scoop it upon a grilled steak (beef or fish).
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • J.B.
  • JoanG
  • Lizthechef
  • pauljoseph
  • dymnyno

32 Reviews

J.B. May 8, 2012
Nice butter, I've made similar ones myself cause I'm into growing herbs; I'm a Master Gardener, but mostly I was touched by your reflections on cooking with your ethnic family member, and in Germany. I learned to cook by observing my ethnic grandmother and my mother who learned at the apron strings of her mom. I'm good in the kitchen, also got a culinary degree, but I'll never equal the cooking/baking skills of those women - ah the pastries, pierogies and so much more. Enjoyed your profile. Sincerely, J.B.
JoanG September 3, 2010
This sounds wonderful Congrats on the EP! I will have to try this.
Lizthechef August 27, 2010
I almost missed another winner - your creativity in the kitchen simply overwhelms me...I can do this, thanks to you! Thumbs up, a bit late - forgive me.
Sagegreen August 28, 2010
Thanks so much. You're very kind. I missed many this week myself!
adamnsvetcooking August 25, 2010
Interesting recipe, and very nice pictures :)
Sagegreen August 25, 2010
Thanks. This was fun to photograph.
pauljoseph August 24, 2010
Excelent recipe and very good picture will make this soon
Sagegreen August 25, 2010
Thank you. I hope you have a look at my "rice parfait" recipe, too, which you and Nimmy inspired!
dymnyno August 24, 2010
I just read and printed Cooking for Engineers recipe for making butter and butter compounds...great information....step by step ideas and recipes...I learned a lot that will make my own butter better...thanks!!
Sagegreen August 25, 2010
Thank you. I'm glad the link was helpful. I just got a stand mixer and found that site really clear.
dymnyno August 24, 2010
Wonderful!! I make my own butter all the time....the first time was when I was making whipped cream and found myself on the road to butter...I continued and have never looked back. Homemade butter is so delicious!
nannydeb August 24, 2010
I've only accidentally made butter by whipping my cream too much. It never occurred to me to use it as, well butter! I'll try this with different herbs, sounds great.
Sagegreen August 24, 2010
Even plain, it is so good! Fresh herbs and dry work easily. And you can also use anchovy paste to save time instead of chopping anchovies, if you, of course, like anchovies.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 22, 2010
I really love this sagegreen! And you've inspired me to make my own butter. I've been thinking about it for awhile now, especially when I have some cream that I'm not sure I'm going to use before it expires. I heard somewhere recently that extra homogenized (????) cream doesn't go to butter as easily. Does that sound at all familiar - does it make any sense??? And your pictures are so lovely as usual :-)
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Thanks. I get organic heavy cream from a farmer and it does work amazingly well. I suspect it may be more difficult with homogenized cream, but I am not sure. One neat illustrated article that demystifies the process of making butter you can find at cooking for engineers:
The E. August 22, 2010
Oh, and I absolutely LOVE your pics! Vibrant, beautiful and completely appetizing!
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Thank you. I love making this.
The E. August 22, 2010
I love this!! We used to make our own butter when I was a child (we made our own everything - lol) and I totally love the smart additions! YUM! PS - you can use the excess as buttermilk - that should be what's leftover once you remove the butter.
Sagegreen August 23, 2010
Thanks. Especially if you drain the liquid before you add the seasonings, you can use the buttermilk so many ways.
parisienne August 22, 2010
Seems a bit complicated.
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Of course you could start more readily with soft high grade unsalted butter for a simpler route. But I find it really easy and pleasurable to make butter from scratch. In my opinion homemade butter is so superior to any commercial brand, that it is well worth any effort.
Midge August 22, 2010
Think the last time I made butter was in Brownies! Looks like another great recipe, Sagegreen.
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Thanks. It is such fun, and you do develop your own technique along the way for dealing with the whey....
drbabs August 22, 2010
I posted a compound butter that I use for fish. It never occurred to me to make my own butter either! Nice!
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Thanks. With all the wonderful ice cream that you make, I bet you will really enjoy making butter!
aargersi August 22, 2010
It never occured to me to make my own buttahhh! Now I kind of have to right?? Yum!
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
You so should! We would be dangerous together. I just uploaded some new photos with tumeric and cumin added in, for really lively color and flavor.
aargersi August 22, 2010
Maybe you could come to Texas for a Food52 potluck? That would be fun!!!!
Sagegreen August 22, 2010
Maybe next year, aargesi! I am getting tons of miles with all my trips this year. Will be off to Belarus in September on an agri-tourism project! Can't wait to learn more about their cuisine. And coming to Texas, that would be soooo fun.
mrslarkin August 21, 2010
Mmmm....buttahhhh. This would be great on fish, too.
Sagegreen August 21, 2010
Thanks.Yes, I was thinking of salmon steaks. Buttahhhhh.....ahhh!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 22, 2010
OMG yes!! Or grilled trout!