Tuesday November 23, 2010
Brown Butter and Sage Marshmallows!
I love sage.
I love the soft, felty fuzz of the leaves. The earthy, aromatic smell that lingers on my fingertips. The gorgeously muted colors, whether classic sage green or the dusty purple of the variety Mr. BraveTart grows in his garden.
In spite of the drought in Kentucky, his sage bush thrived. I did what I do every year: I browned a few pounds of butter with an equally robust amount of sage, then froze the results in little Dixie cups. After they froze, I popped the sage “cubes” into a zippy bag, to pull out whenever I need their autumnal flavor punch.
But the sage kept coming. We cut it back, made roasted tomato sauce with copious quantities of sage. We doused every sweet potato with sage butter. Roasted chickens rubbed in sage. Sage crusted legs of lamb. Sage. Sage. SAGE!
The sage started creeping into BraveTart.
It started off simply. Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Vanilla and Sage Glaze. Then Sage Caramel to drizzle over ice cream. Sage Cornbread. Click for a closer look, if you like:
Finally, my pièce de résistance, Brown Butter and Sage Marshmallows. Easily the best thing I’ve ever made.
I budgeted myself plenty of time for experimentation, fearful the fat of so much butter would derail the fluffiness of the marshmallows. Or that the butter and sage would make the marshmallows taste weird instead of delicious. But to my astonishment, the very first batch came out spectacular: still epically fluffy, with a perfectly creamy texture and an amazing flavor, utterly sweet with a mellow savory edge.
The browned butter lent its magical nutty richness to marshmallows while the herbal aroma of sage came through quite clearly. Little flecks of brown butter and sage dotted the creamy white marshmallow just beautifully. These happy discoveries make my profession so worthwhile.
Mr. BraveTart can’t stop eating them out of hand while verbalizing his marshmallow fantasies: toasted sage marshmallows in butternut squash soup. Savory S’mores. Diced up over Ceylon Ice Cream…
But the best idea? Making over the Thanksgiving classic: sweet potatoes with marshmallows. I’ve decided to Epi-cure this ailing dish. I plan to steam a batch of sweet potatoes, toss them in dark maple syrup and butter, then top them with Sage Marshmallows and broil, baby broil. Take that Jet Puffed!
Seriously, if you are the sort of person who enjoys marshmallow topped sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving, and you can spare 30 minutes sometime between now and Turkey Day, please make a batch of Homemade Marshmallows.
Everyone at the table will bow down and worship you as a culinary god; homemade marshmallows never fail to impress. And whether plain or sage, they have a vastly superior flavor. Homemade Marshmallows defy the cloyingly sweet, characterless flavor that defines Jet Puffed. When you make your own, salt and vanilla tame the sweetness into something more complex. But most compellingly, when you apply heat? They brown into little golden tiles; their tops becoming thick and luxuriously crisp, while the insides melt into a much gooier, creamier confection than a Jet Puffed could ever achieve.
Plain marshmallows work amazingly, and I’ve used them on my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes for many years now. Having just discovered (like, today!) that the addition of brown butter and sage makes the marshmallows so much more savory, so much more autumnal, I had to share. Even without an amazing marshmallow pic from Rosco. I feel that strongly that you have to give this a try ASAP.
I’ve appended my recipe for Brown Butter and Sage Marshmallows to the end of my “normal” marshmallow recipe, as they’re identical but for the two eponymous additions.
We’re putting this on our Thanksgiving table, so photos by Friday with any luck! (Update: 11/27 pictures are up! Visit the recipe, here, to see a collage of ooey-gooey marshmallow topped potatoes!) What dishes will you serve on Thanksgiving? Other than this, I haven’t settled on a menu yet, so if you too have a must-try, cannot miss, awesome recipe you’d like to rave about, comment and link below!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!
11 comments and counting
Nov 23, 2010 · 12:13 PM
Not sure how clever this comment is but I love the idea of brown-butter sage marshmallows floating atop a steaming bowl of pumpkin or butternut squash soup! We have our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday night due to hospital duties of our men on Thursday. I often plan on pumpkin or squash soup on Thursday. I think Baby George might go for this idea too!
Nov 23, 2010 · 12:26 PM
Maureen, thanks so much for stopping by! Shannon was telling me about the Wed Night tradition! I love it. Winter Squash soup is a major favorite in our household, esp in years where the garden yields a surplus. Never gets old.
I think baby George will love it too! Shannon’s made marshmallows with me a few times, so she can totally get all over these! Although, she might have philosophical objections to my flavor choice. I’ve made a ton, I can float some your way.
Nov 23, 2010 · 3:10 PM
Like most FoodBuzz frequenters, I typically see a hundred or so recipes in my inbox on a given day. As much as I’d like to luxuriate in reading each and every blog post, I generally limit myself to those that grab my interest in some unusual way. Brown butter sage marshmallows certainly fit the bill today. Thanks for a delightful recipe!
· Michele@FitFoodista · fitfoodista.com
Nov 23, 2010 · 5:13 PM
These sound really cool. I would have been too afraid to add butter to marshmallows, but it’s cool to hear that it worked! I would love to give it a shot!
· Kaitlin · whisk-kid.blogspot.com
Nov 23, 2010 · 8:13 PM
@Michele, I’m so glad this one caught your eye! I’m so new to Foodbuzz, I still don’t always know when it’s appropriate to share or not, but I’m glad you approve! Thanks for stopping by.
@ Kaitlin, honestly fear of marshmallow failure has kept me from attempting this for years. It’s just always tough to say a) I could definitely have awesome marshmallows when the possibility of b) a giant batch of ruined marshmallows exists. These are soooo good though, I’m so glad I finally got brave. Honestly, I felt like they could absorb a lot more butter, maybe even double. The texture didn’t turn out any differently than my normal ‘mallow. I plan on finding the upper limit soon. I’ll keep you posted.
Nov 27, 2010 · 3:45 AM
o.em.geeeeee. i’m so excited. the idea for savory marshmallows popped into my mind today, and after a blog search i came to your site. it’s almost midnight but i want to make these marshmallows right now!!!! browned butter for life!
· The Salty Girl · www.thesaltygirl.blogspot.com
Nov 27, 2010 · 10:44 AM
hip hip hurray!!! Let me know if you make them, the are crazy delicious!
Nov 29, 2010 · 7:48 PM
I’m so excited!!!! So glad you made ‘em! On my way to your blog now!
Dec 04, 2010 · 11:17 AM
It’s snowing in Kentucky too!!! Marshmallows for everyone! Get out of here you little runt.