What’s better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy you don’t need one. In It’s That Simple, we’ll talk you through the dishes and drinks we make with our eyes closed. Today, brown butter glaze.
As much as I love all of the warming, toasty, cozy flavors of the holiday season, on this side of the New Year, I’m ready for a refresh when it comes to dessert—there’s only so much cinnamon and pumpkin spice a person can take. The antidote to cold weather-induced fatigue: a brown butter glaze that tastes like just a little tease of warmer, brighter days ahead. With a nutty, rich base offset by floral, fruity St-Germain and plenty of lemon juice, it smells like springtime and is the everything-syrup that you’ll want to douse all of your desserts in.
It’s delicious as a glaze for pound cake, as in Danielle Bell’s Lemon-Elderflower Pound Cake, but with its tangy sweetness, it’s versatile enough for just about anything: Spoon it over waffles or pancakes, stir it into your oatmeal, shake it into a spritz, dunk fresh fruit into it, or fold it into homemade whipped cream. My favorite application has been drizzling it over vanilla ice cream as a sundae topping.
If you’re as ready for a return to floral, fruity, bright desserts as I am, here’s how to make this easy, speedy brown butter glaze, which comes together in a few minutes with one saucepan and one whisk. Cook 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling often, until the butter foams, browns, and has a pleasant nutty smell. (Take care not to burn it at this step!) Then add 6 Tbsp. sugar and cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt and cook until the mixture reduces slightly, about 5 minutes, and then add 2 Tbsp. St-Germain and ½ tsp. vanilla extract and cook until syrupy, about 2 minutes.
That’s it! You’ve got a tangy-rich sauce that’s ready to pour over any and all desserts that need a floral, fragrant, sweet oomph. It’s almost enough to make you forget we’ve got several months of winter still to come.