Homemade Basil Butter

I love basil! I add it to almost everything, in all different forms – fresh, dried, pesto, paste – I even have to hide the plant from my cats because they love chewing it (can’t say I blame them!)

Though I had a strange start to my love of basil, as we never had basil at home when I was growing up, because my Dad is allergic to it. I didn’t even know it existed for quite a while, until I was out for lunch one day and I decided to try Pesto Pasta – there my love began πŸ™‚Β  It was almost like having a strange love affair while I lived at home, because I could only eat it when out of the house, so as not to trigger my Dad’s allergy.

I haven’t had to hide my basil-love for a while now and always like to have some growing fresh in the kitchen – though Florida is much better for growing it outside!Β  I haven’t yet added herbs to the garden here, but a friend had a lovely “crop” of basil and she very kindly gave me some this weekend.Β  Which was perfect timing as I’d just found a recipe on Pinterest for Basil Butter, and knew I had to try it!

I tweaked the recipe a little, adding more garlic and a little more basil. I added the garlic raw, but you could cook it first if you prefer πŸ™‚

1 stick of butter
4 tbsp cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (plus a few extra, because yey basil!)
2 cloves garlic (less if you aren’t as keen on garlic as we are)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1. Chop up the basil. I don’t own a fancy chopper so I just rolled up the leaves, and used kitchen scissors to cut them finely. Put the chopped basil in a small bowl – I put it back in the measuring jug.

2. Mince the garlic – cooked or uncooked – and add to the basil. Add the olive oil and stir to mix well.

3. Soften the butter and cream cheese and mix together in a seperate bowl until smooth. Add the basil mixutre and stir to combine.Β  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Enjoy!

It keeps fresh in the fridge, though we’ve almost used it all up in just a few days!

We tried it on toast (with and without cheese), I’ve also made a yummy tuna sandwich using the basil butter instead of regular butter – ohhhh that was good!

We’ve even stirred the basil butter into cooked pasta, topped with some grated cheese – you could stir in some pine nuts and/or baby tomatoes too.Β  Everything as tasted great, I’ll definitely be making some more when this runs out!

This is my post for this week’s Hearth & Soul Blog Hop πŸ™‚ Be sure to check out the other recipes on there this week and follow my blog for more tasty treats!


Apple Butter Pie

It wasn’t very long ago that I discovered apple butter. For those of you who aren’t sure what it is, think along the lines of a condensed apple sauce with added spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Really tasty stuff πŸ™‚

I’m not a pie maker, or at least haven’t been until now! I went to a friend’s Pampered Chef party (which is a relatively new thing in England so I hadn’t been to one before) and of the things I bought there, one was a super cool looking pie dish πŸ™‚

…Never in my life have I been so excited about a pie dish lol!

So I had a look online and found an apple butter pie recipe that looked good and gave it a try in my new awesome, super cool pie dish!

(Just to share the awesomeness)

The recipe I used came from Baking Bites and even though it was very tasty and enjoyable, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations so I’ll probably experiment with it a bit another time. I enjoyed the pie and I’d make it again, but I think the one thing for me that needed changing is the consistency – but apparently (so my husband, who is American, tells me) this has the exact same consistency as traditional American pumpkin pie and so he loved it just as it was!

So this may be a case of me just not being used to that kind of pie filling yet. American pie and English pie seem quite different! When I do tinker with the recipe though I’ll be sure to post the results πŸ™‚

I will apologise in advance for any blurry photos, I still haven’t been able to get my camera fixed πŸ™

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 50-60 minutes (depending on oven)

Sweet pie pastry to fit your pie dish
16 oz applle butter
12 oz evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat your oven to 180Β°C.

2. Mix together the apple butter and evaporated milk. I stirred them together with a spoon but you can use a food processor if you prefer.

3. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs then stir well to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Again you can use a food processor if you prefer.

4. Roll out your pie pastry and line the pie dish. A trick I know, to stop the edges shrinking, is don’t cut off the excess pastry until AFTER it is cooked. This allows for some shrinkage and then you can get a nice neat edge πŸ™‚

5. Pour in the filling and bake the pie in the oven for 50-60 minutes. I have a fan assisted over so it only took 50 minutes.

6. Bring the pie out of the oven and use a sharp knife to cut away the excess pastry. Be careful not to touch the pie dish (this was a failing point of my new dish actually, as it has “handles” that got in the way a bit so my edge wasn’t as neat as I’d have liked).

7. Enjoy a nice slice of pie! πŸ™‚

This will be my post for this week’s Hearth & Soul Blog Hop and it’s their 1st anniversary πŸ™‚ Be sure to check out the other recipes on there this week and to follow my blog for more tasty treats!


Autumn Warmers – Apple Butter

America has some really great, and fun, food ideas! I honestly don’t know why most of them aren’t also available in the UK, because I think they’d sell really well over here.

My husband is American and in the USAF so when I’ve been on base here (and also in Italy when we lived there) to do some food shopping with him I’ve discovered all sorts of great goodies! The latest discovery I’ve made is Apple Butter. It’s like a very concentrated smooth apple sauce, with spices, that you can use on all sorts of things. The one I have is Musselman’s Apple Butter and is spiced with cinnamon and cloves, which makes it perfect for this time of year!

So far my favourite is to spread some on toasted seeded bread – such a great “Autumn Warmer” πŸ™‚ My Mom likes to spoon some of it over ice cream too, which I’ll try out in the warmer Summer months.

I think it’d be great in baking though and have a few thoughts of things I want to try, such as an apple cake with it either in the batter, or as as a kind of frosting on top (or even sandwiched in the middle), or mixed into an apple frosting for cupcakes, or in apple pies in some way. The possibilities seem endless!

Has anyone tried using it in baking? What did you make and how did it turn out?