Along with my pepper and salt grinder, I have kept a French Butter Keeper on top of my kitchen counter for many decades now, and I consider it indispensable. But when I have overnight guests and I take this out at breakfast time, I am inevitably asked, “What is that?”
“THAT” is a French butter crock, a useful type of pottery designed in the late 1800s. There are two parts to this device: a base that holds water and forms an airtight seal, keeping oxygen away from the butter, and a cup to hold the packed butter. This little device will keep unrefrigerated butter fresh and soft for around a month provided it is kept at temperatures below 80 °F (27 °C) and the water is changed regularly. A French butter crock allows me to have softened, spreadable, room temperature butter any time.
Believe me, this is handy for buttering pans, egg cups, or for spreading on scones or toast. My butter crock is from Emile Henry – I am a huge fan of this brand. I have seen very artsy butter ceramic handmade crocks at art fairs recently too.
Pssst, this makes an awesome gift for a foodie in your life!