This blood orange butter is a great way to finish roasted or barbecued chicken. It is also amazing on fresh scones for afternoon tea. Or my favorite quick snack on some fresh Einkorn rolls straight out of the oven!
Blood Orange Butter
The beauty of this butter is a treat for me to make every fall. I enjoy having this compound butter in the refrigerator as a staple while blood oranges are in season. Blood oranges are in season from October/November to about March/April. Colorful, beautiful citrus is a joy to have in the fall and winter months. It brightens up our food and adds beauty to our plates when we are missing the summer fruit.
Uses For This Easy Blood Orange Compound Butter:
Compound butter adds great flavor to many savory dishes or lather on your toast, scone, biscuit, pancake, or roll. They save a lot of time by mimicking a butter sauce (a beurre blanc sauce). A compound butter is wonderful to make ahead and keep on hand to top steak, chicken, or fish in a pinch. I love a lemony beurre blanc on jasmine rice, on BBQ chicken, and many other dishes. However, I don’t always have time to dice and saute a shallot in wine and lemon juice. Then, slowly add butter, keep it stabilized, and make sure it doesn’t break, etc.
My solution to a beurre blanc sauce in a hurry is to have a citrus compound butter in the refrigerator ready to go. Sometimes I make lemon, and other times I make an orange compound butter. This easy blood orange compound butter is also good for snacking. Don’t we all love cinnamon toast? Well, try some blood orange butter toast, it is also great. My family loves it when I serve this easy blood orange compound butter to put on fresh dinner rolls or my Einkorn Sourdough. I try to bake a loaf of bread a week, so, having this butter on hand the moment bread is sliced is just lovely.
What is a Compound Butter?
A compound butter is a mixture of butter and some other ingredient or ingredients producing a compound. Examples of compound butter are honey cinnamon butter, shallot citrus herb butter, cranberry butter, truffle butter, bonemarrow butter, and roasted garlic butter just to name a few.
When I was young I recall referring to compound butter as maitre d’hotel butter or just maitre d butter for short. I remember the first time my dad made maitre d butter and put it on my steak, was instantly hooked. Since that day, I rarely eat a steak without adding a compound butter. (I am a sauce girl!) My favorite compound butter to add to a steak is shallot citrus herb butter, truffle butter, or Gorgonzola butter.
What is a Blood Orange and Does it Have Any Additional Benefit?
A blood orange is beautiful! It is my go-to orange when available because of both its unique color and additional health benefits. The blood orange gets its color from anthocyanin pigments. For reference, anthocyanin pigments are the pigments that cause a blueberry to be blue. Anthocyanin pigments are found throughout nature and give color to many flowers, plants, and fruits.
What is thought to have occurred is a regular orange mutated with the anthocyanin pigments to produce this beautiful and bold fruit. The blood orange has been growing in the Meditarianing since about the 18th century. It is a common citrus fruit in Italy, not surprising as Italy has graced the world with many beautiful foods such as broccoli and cauliflower.
As I mentioned earlier, blood oranges are produced from fall through early spring because they need the cold weather at night for the anthocyanin pigments to develop. These pigments continue to develop after they are picked and placed into cold storage. Like the blueberry, the anthocyanin pigments offer health benefits. Read more about the health benefits of blood oranges here.
There are multiple varieties of blood oranges available. The different varieties will vary in color/redness. The different varieties of blood oranges will also vary slightly in taste. Some varieties are sweeter than others, and some varieties have slight raspberry notes in the fruit.
Butter: salted or unsalted is ok to use in this recipe
Blood Orange: can be found in grocery stores from fall through spring. The varieties of blood oranges produce fruit from October/November through March/April, and some varieties even into May. Consider growing your own blood oranges, even if you live in a cold winter climate, citrus makes great house plants.
Sugar: I used ultra fine cane sugar: baker’s sugar in this recipe, but any sugar can be used. You could use a sugar substitute like Lakanto, or you could also use granular sugar, coconut sugar, or turbinado sugar for this recipe.
How to Store and Use the Blood Orange Compound Butter:
- Store the compound butter in a glass Kilner jar with a clip-top lid.
- Shape it into a log and wrap it in wax paper or plastic wrap (Saran Wrap).
- The Easy Blood Orange Compound Butter can be refrigerated for up to 2weeks and frozen for 4months.
- Remember to remove the compound butter from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to soften if using the compound butter as a spread.
- You can spoon it or slice it cold if you are adding it to a top a hot protein like grilled chicken.
How to Make Easy Blood Orange Compound Butter
½ cup Butter (one 113 gram stick of butter)
1 Blood Orange
2 tbsp Sugar
Let the butter come to room temperature.
Cut off the rind and cut away the pith with a knife. Doing this will expose the juicy flesh of the orange and no bitter chewy bits are added to the compound butter.
For me, the easiest way is to first slice the blood orange in half. This gives you a stable and safe bast to cut away the orange peel.
Next, remove the inner pith of the orange.
Now zest the blood orange peel you just cut off. You only need about 1/4 tsp. (But you can use any amount you like.)
Put all the ingredients into the food processor: trimmed blood orange bits, zest, sugar, and butter in a food processor. I recommend using a small food processor.
Pulse continuously until thoroughly combined.
Check the compound butter for your desired sweetness. I keep it at 2 tbsp for savory dishes and occasionally add additional sugar for my rolls, scones, pancakes, etc.
Easy Blood Orange Compound Butter
- ½ cup Butter (one 113 gram stick of butter)
- 1 Blood Orange
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- Let the butter come to room temperature.
- Cut off the rind and cut away the pith with a knife. Doing this will expose the juicy flesh of the orange and no bitter chewy bits are added to the compound butter.
- For me, the easiest way is to first slice the blood orange in half. This gives you a stable and safe bast to cut away the orange peel.
- Next, remove the inner pith of the orange.
- Now zest the blood orange peel you just cut off. You only need about 1/4 tsp. (But you can use any amount you like.)
- Put all the ingredients into the food processor: trimmed blood orange bits, zest, sugar, and butter in a food processor. I recommend using a small food processor.
- Pulse continuously until thoroughly combined.
- Check the compound butter for your desired sweetness. I keep it at 2 tbsp for savory dishes and occasionally add additional sugar for my rolls, scones, pancakes, etc.
Links to items used in this recipe:
Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender, Stainless Steel Wüsthof chef knife, cutting board, Kilner jar with a clip-top lid, wax paper, plastic wrap, baker’s sugar, Lakanto, granular sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado sugar