Tomorrow is Easter, and besides chocolate eggs, many households will be sharing an Easter brunch with pancakes, or [better] waffles, or [best] French toast. Or [better best] big, soft wondrous Southern biscuits.
What do all those dishes need in common? Butter. But why just plain butter when you can incorporate the flavors of spring or summer? In her book Brunch, Gale Gand suggests you make fruit-flavored butters. She offers the five recipes you will find here:
Gale is a maven at tuning each recipe to achieve a flavor balance that is recognizable but not too penetrating. You may have had a strawberry butter served that, well, was a tad too intense. Here, Gale suggests just enough modest strawberry flavor to give you the perfume and the pleasure. You get to taste, rather than be smacked in the palette.
Her are Gale’s brunch suggestions.
Yield: ½ cup
Take a stick of butter out of the refrigerator and let it come to almost room temperature. Then whip it in a food processor, or with the whip attachment of a hand mixer, to aerate the butter and create a fluffy consistency.
Now add the flavoring, from the list below, and mix until thoroughly blended. Use a spatula to put the butter into a ceramic ramekin, smooth the surface, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until nearly ready to use. Give the butter 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature to soften slightly for easier spreading.
You don’t want to tear that pancake.
- For orange butter: use ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
- For lemon butter: ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- For strawberry butter: purée 2 hulled medium-sized strawberries, then add to the butt
- For raspberry butter: puree 8 to 10 raspberries
- For blackberry butter: puree 5 to 6 blackberries.
Source: Brunch by Gale Gand
Photo Credits: Canon T2i, EFS 18-55MM, F/5, 1/620th second, ISO-3200
In Greek mythology, ambrosia was the food of the gods. What better way to conclude a brunch than with an Ambrosia Fruit Salad, filed with fruit, yogurt, coconut, whipping cream, …
And miniature marshmallows. I’m not kidding. It’s listed as an optional ingredient below. We offered this for a family brunch a couple of weeks ago and tactfully left the marshmallows out. The recipe already was feast for man or gods.
Despite the Greek gods reference, ambrosia appears to be an American creation form the early 19th century, probably in the south. It is the coconut that distinguishes ambrosia from a pack of sibling recipes. And no, while people speak in mythology ambrosia no one ever penned the recipe used by the gods.
So, maybe we should have included the marshmallows? Can you picture them sitting on Mount Olympus, around a fire pit, making s’mores. I can’t. It’s just not dignified.
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Yield: 2 pounds or 16 2” patties
- 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
- 2 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
- 1 ½ cups green grapes
- 1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)
- 1 large banana, sliced
- ½ cup flaked coconut
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- ¾ cup (6 ounces) vanilla yogurt
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
In a large serving bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.
Whip the heavy whipping cream and yogurt together until well blended, then gently fold in fruit to yogurt mixture. Chill until serving.
Source: Alton Brown, of course
Photo Credits: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/5, 1/60th second, ISO-250