I have just made some peanut butter and it’s brilliant.
For me, commercial peanut butter has a couple of major design flaws – it’s not sweet enough,** and it’s claggy (or, if you’re not from the North of England, it glues your tongue to your palate!). Home-made, it can be exactly as you want it to be. This is a little bit sweet, and not claggy at all. It’s also free of nasties, like palm oil or any hydrogenated oils at all. There’s nothing in it you don’t put in it.
**I feel the same way about spirits – that intensity of flavour cries out for sweetening.
I bought a 350g bag of salt-free, additive-free, “air-roasted” (whatever that means), peanuts, whizzed them in the processor, added some olive oil, sea salt, and golden caster sugar, and whizzed them some more. It’s as easy as that.
I wasn’t sure what fat/oil to use. I was tempted by Clover, as it doesn’t taste of anything very much, but in the end went with my first choice, Sainsbury’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The result is a tad runny (a mix of Clover and the oil is, I think, the way forward in terms of texture), but it tastes gorgeous, it really does. Olive oil goes really well with peanuts.
It’s a tad runny, but it’s very warm in here and it’ll firm up in the fridge, but even if it stays more of a dip than a spread, I’m happy. And next time I can use less oil, of course.
350g unsalted roasted peanuts (no skins)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar (or to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil to the texture you want
Tip the nuts into the processor bowl and blitz until they’re the texture of coarse grit then, while pulsing, add the salt and sugar and trickle in the oil until you have the texture you want. The nut texture will get a little finer while doing this, but you might not get them smooth in a processor, I can’t and mine’s pretty powerful at 1500W – I suspect they need to be ground for that.
Yield: 498g That’s enough to fill a recycled Bonne Maman conserve jar (320g), with the rest in a recycled cottage cheese pot. Bonne Maman jars, by the way, are the perfect shape, slightly conical, with no shoulders, you can get out every bit of the contents. All jars should be as good.
Tip: Stir in a little puréed fresh fruit, or drinking chocolate powder, but bear in mind it won’t keep as long. I’ve no idea how long the stuff will keep anyway but, somehow, I doubt that’s going to be a problem, it’s just soooo good. I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed with anything on the first attempt.
The sugar and salt don’t dissolve in oil, of course, so they add a bit of crunch to it. I can detect the sugar, but not the salt, which is finer. Personally, I’m not bothered. If you are then maybe use Golden Syrup or honey, bearing in mind that both are less sweet than sugar due to the water content. Or use icing sugar, perhaps, which is merely powdered sugar (if you do add any of the alternatives, mix it into the nuts well, before adding oil).
Assuming you have a food processor, this gets you just a single Spoonie spoon, it’s so easy.
If you don’t have a processor I suppose you could do them a few at a time in a blender but, honestly, I’m not sure it would be worth the effort.
I wasn’t sure what to eat, tonight, but I think I’ll have a plate of toasted soldiers, made with my own bread, and the contents of the cottage cheese pot. Yep – sounds like a plan.