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Top Shelf: by Chef Mark Godbeer
Working on yachts affords us the ability to travel the world and sample local foods and trends. I love it. To me it’s one of the highlights of the industry, getting inspiration from places you wouldn’t usually frequent.
However, recently I returned home to South Africa and was blown away by how South African foods are trending in a healthy capacity. Everywhere I look, I am mesmerized by the never ending fresh produce and the fusion local chefs are achieving with them. Its wonderful and this wonder inspired me to make this healthy fresh blueberry, dairy-free butter. The use of rooibos tea and thyme really helps an earthy flavor transcend into this decadent concoction. The lemon elevates the flavor, using the acid to cut the sweetness. This provides balance and eradicates the possibility of this butter being too rich.
It’s quick, easy to make and, to quote my wife, “it’s scrumptious”.
4 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups water (1/2 cup reserved for steeping tea)
1/2 cup honey
2 sprigs thyme
1 rooibos tea bag
2 lemons (1 zested, 1 peeled)
1 vanilla pod (deseeded)
4 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup coconut oil
In a heavy-bottomed pan set heat to medium, add blueberries, 1 cup of water and honey. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
While the blueberries are simmering, steep the rooibos in 1/2 a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the teabag and cool.
To the blueberries, add the lemon peel and vanilla pod and reduce the heat to low. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the cornstarch to the tea and mix until incorporated (this is called a slurry). Slowly pour the slurry into the blueberry mixture, stirring the whole time. Gently cook for a further 10 minutes.
Remove the lemon peel and thyme sprigs, then take the pot off the stove. Allow to cool for 20 minutes then transfer into a stand mixer.
Add the coconut oil and lemon zest and with a whisk attachment, mix slowly for 10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
The blueberry butter is now ready to spread on pancakes, use as a topping, in smoothies, as a filling for cakes or simply eaten as is.
I used the butter to top my greek yogurt pancakes and served them with fresh fruit and coconut.
Mark Godbeer has been a yacht chef for more than 10 years (chefmarkgodbeer.com). His recipes are designed for the owner and guests.