The premise behind French butter keepers is simple. Butter at room temperature quickly turns rancid when exposed to oxygen, so chilling preserves it. Mainly what's needed is to keep air away from the butter. The butter keeper does the same thing, but in a slightly different way. It uses water to form a seal between the butter and the air, a similar process was used by the Ancient Romans while making wine. The keeper comes in two parts. The first is a small basin to hold the water and the second piece holds the butter suspended in the water. You fill the top up with butter, put water in the larger bottom container, and invert the top into the water. Butter is an oil and it won't mix with the water, and as long as it's not too hot, it will stay in
the top, surrounded by water. Voila! Now you can safely keep butter preserved at room temperature and ready to cover that warm, crusty baguette.
Written and photographed by Diane