Citrus and Vanilla Bean Butter from the book ‘Flavored Butters’ by Lucy Vaserfirer

This was a tough assignment for sure; this reviewing of a book all about compound butters. First there was the huge effort of deciding sweet or savory…that was almost unfair so I decided to try both before making a decision. One savory version using caramelized onions was terrific; we used it on baked potatoes and bread and a dollop topped some grilled chicken before it completely disappeared. I love caramelized onions on so many things and I can assure you that mixed with some additional butter they are nothing short of divine. Still, in this butter competition to win 1st place in my heart, I must admit that the sweet version won first prize; we just LOVED this combination of butter, vanilla bean and citrus zest…and so did our English muffins!

flavored-butters-book Lucy Vaserfirer has crafted a simple book with outstanding combinations of one of my very favorite things. Butter. All butter. Butters with fruit, with caviar, with vegetables and with spices. Butter, butter, butter. And more butter! Her blog at is filled with her recipes and techniques with a focus on demystifying chef techniques for everyone. Lucy is the author of Seared to Perfection: The Simple Art of Sealing in Flavor and Flavored Butters: How to Make Them, Shape Them, and Use Them as Spreads, Toppings, and Sauces, which she styled and photographed herself and is she is now currently at work on a cookbook all about marinades. In her spare time (HA!) Lucy is an Adjunct Instructor of Cooking at Clark College in Vancouver, WA and at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, OR.

My friend was here while I wrote this post and was glancing through Lucy’s book; I now have a list of those she thinks should be next in line and we both agreed that Coffee Butter (butter, turbinado sugar and dry espresso) needs to be made stat. And Gorgonzola Chive Butter. Plus Lemon, Parsley and Caper Brown Butter and, well, the list could go on and on; in fact I think I need a new fridge just for all of the butters I’m envisioning will be made!


This particular butter is wonderful; sweet butter is combined with vanilla bean and a combination of both orange and lemon zest for the perfect morning treat. While I know I would love it on some cranberry scones or simple crepes; a more typical morning here would see me lucky to get some English muffins in the toaster (though it reminds me I need to make some more of this English muffin bread!). It elevates such a simple morning staple into something much more special and I just know the friends I’m staying with are happy that this morning will see the ‘hands off’ sign lifted from their gorgeous bowl filled with this delicious butter!

Harvard Common Press has graciously offered to give two of my readers a copy of this book. It’s easy to enter:

  • US residents only; must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Contest ends Sunday, May 12, 2013 at Midnight.
  • Winner will be notified via email on May 13th and have 48 hours to respond otherwise another winner will be picked.

How to win:

  1. Just leave a comment and let us know what you love most in a compound butter.
  2. For a 2nd entry follow me on Twitter and leave me a comment letting me know that you did!

Good luck…and if you don’t win? Then buy this book; it’s a lovely addition to your library; this book about buttah!!

Citrus and Vanilla Bean Butter from the book ‘Flavored Butters’ by Lucy Vaserfirer
Prep time
Total time
Serves: ½ cup of butter
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean (I used a tsp of vanilla bean paste)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. Beat the butter in a mixer until light and creamy.
  2. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the beans out of the pod; save the pod for another use (I love to put them into a bowl of sugar; vanilla sugar is wonderful).
  3. Add the beans, sugar and both orange and lemon zests to the bowl and beat until blended.
  4. Scrape from the bowl and either pack into ramekins or pipe into a bowl.


  1. says

    I’m so intrigued by this butter! This sounds fantastic. Shh… but I’ve actually never made or had a compound butter but I promise if I won this lovely book I would be making a ton of them. Either way, I think I’ll need to own this lovely cookbook. So many creative butters!
    Kate | Food Babbles Most Recent Post: Coconut Lime Scones

  2. Shannon says

    I love rosemary as it is so wonderful then to spread onto homemade bread! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I would love to learn more though & making other compound butters!

  3. says

    Good thing I cleaned out my freezer… from the sound of this book, I’m going to be making a LOT of compound butters over the next few weeks!! Thinking that espresso one is next on my list!!!

  4. says

    What a good idea having butter with different flavors! I usually just dab butter on food just as it is, but this creates a new dimension. Squeezing the butter out of a pastry nozzle for this recipe really dresses up the presentation!

  5. says

    What a good idea having butters with different flavors! Normally, I just dab butter on food just as it is. The use of a pastry nozzle for presenting the Citrus and Vanilla Bean butter recipe really dresses it up!

  6. says

    I’m sorry you lost your friend prematurely too. When a friendships dissolve due to ‘breaking-up’ or simply losing touch due to different paths or just life in general, you never think you’ll never see or speak to them again. For the past year, reconnecting with her was a constant and somewhat comforting thought. I wish I could turn back the clock so I could have that chance back.

    On a brighter note, I love compound butters and citrus and vanilla is one I’ve yet to try Thanks for opening my eyes to this.
    Lisa Most Recent Post: Arugula-Basil-Kale Pesto and a Tribute of a Sort

  7. kathy pilato says

    I love how the flavors, when combined with the fat in the butter, seem to marry. Fat = flavor and that is the good thing about compound butters. Not to mention, they sure are yummie!

  8. Doreen says

    Yum! compound butters are such a fabulous finishing touch on things – or in the case of this butter – a fabulous edition to an english muffin, toast, or hot from the oven blueberry muffin – that would be heavenly!

    The carmelized onion butter sounds amazingly good too! Now I’m hungry for lunch and drooling…

  9. Susan Cochran says

    I think savory butters are the best and can be used on so many different things. Love the thought of savory butter on a steak!

  10. K says

    Mmmm, my favorite thing about a compound butter is versatility! Use it on meat, breakfast food, dessert, you could probably even have it on a cheese plate! Yummmm

  11. Julie Peck says

    This butter sounds lovely. My favorite is to add sirraccha and dollop it on my whole wheat waffles with blackberry muddled maple syrup (oh yeah the butter goes good on fried chicken for those chicken and waffle lovers!)

  12. Sara says

    What I love most about compound butters are their simplicity, versatility, endless combinations and applications. As part of my “Holy Triad”, (butter, cheese and cream) I am fascinated by all things Butter. :) Congratulations to Lucy on the publication of her new endeavor.

  13. says

    Funny timing – I was first introduced to compound butters years ago at a restaurant that was featured (and slammed) on Kitchen Nightmares this week with Gordon Ramsay. They introduced me to Fried Green Tomatoes too (yummm). I can’t remember all the flavors now, but I remember a strawberry and an alligator (that I was afraid to try). I love making fruit compound butters for scones and that sort of thing and garlic/herb butters for veggies, etc. I’m really curious to see all the combinations in this book – although I honestly can’t imagine one with caviar?!?!
    Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe Most Recent Post: Armenian Burritos

  14. says

    I can not live by bread and rice and meat and fish and vegetables and fruits alone ! I want BUTTER and I want this lip smackingly luscious, velvety, sexy citrus-vanilla compound butter. And your eye-popping buttery pictures….my my ! quite a sight for my sore eyes! :)
    Nusrat Azim Most Recent Post: Fried Pomfret

  15. says

    Good golly, Barb, all you had to do is list some of the recipes and now I want this book! I love compound/flavored butters and have been meaning to dig mine out and make some but now I see I have to buy this book . Wow they sound delicious! I love the vanilla-y citrussy sound of this one. I’ll bet it is great on chicken, too, even with the bit of sugar. But I’ll bet this tastes heavenly on hot-off-thr-griddle crêpes! I LOVE butter-lemon crêpes when we go out to a creperie.

  16. says

    Compound butters are wonderful. I love adding a dollop of a savory one to top a steak. I haven’t done much with sweet ones, though – terrific idea. Good review, and I love all the texture in the photos.

  17. Cindy says

    Easy! The best thing about compound butters is that they can be froze, therefore, instantly ready to make a dish taste wonderful. So easy!

  18. Debbie Bishop says

    I love using savory compound butters. They add sooooo much flavor! Especially grilled meat! I would love to try some sweet compound butters. Never heard of this cookbook but will certainly check it out!

  19. Lilah Felt says

    The perfect finishing to a great steak is a delicious herb butter. This book sings to me. Hope I win it.

  20. says

    Just love using all different fresh herbs in my compound butter, along with a little lemon juice. And seriously, if I don’t win this book, I am definitely buying it!

  21. says

    I have to purchase this book immediately. I love, love, love compound butters. They add so much to the simplest dishes! I just made a southwestern flavored one last weekend – great on corn and other grilled veggies. Your citrus and vanilla combination sounds incredible!
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Most Recent Post: Black-Eyed Pea Salad

  22. says

    O saw this in my inbox and ran right over just because the butter sounded so good! I love all things creamsicley flavored. And then I saw it was a giveaway, even cooler!

    So what I love most in a compound butter…. probably a garlic chive compound butter. traditionally I’ve always loved them on steaks, I love the ability they have to just simply transform a steak, with BUTTER, who would have thought that?! It was one of the first things I learned at the CIA!
    Jessica @ Burlap and Butter Knives Most Recent Post: Classic Macaroni Salad, just like Grandma used to make!

  23. says

    I’ve been looking at this book–it’s on my wish list! What I love in a compound butter is that it can take the everyday ordinary anything and turn it into something completely special and wonderful. That Coffee Butter you mentioned? Hello! I need that.

    Lovely book!
    Elle Most Recent Post: Kick off Summer Grilling with Kayem Foods!


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