Farm Fashioned Recipes: Mamaw’s Old Fashioned Butter Roll
Submitted by René McCracken, NTCC Ag Director
September finally has fall weather coming our way and if you are like me there are some of your family traditions that include a special homemade recipe that just waits for days like this?
I can’t ever remember a fall without my mother fixing one such recipe that her mother taught her – “Old Fashioned Butter Roll”. My grandparents lived through the great depression where they worked to raise six children in rural east Texas. There was never “a lot” of everything but there was always enough and by the time I came around to enjoy my grandmother’s Sunday lunches – the Butter Roll was something that could only be had at her table and no one else even knew what it was much less sold it at a restaurant.
You might expect that in times like the great depression that foods were simple, homemade and incredibly perfect to feed large families and this recipe was no exception. Basically, it is a cinnamon roll in a custard type sauce that tastes so much like olden times to me that it makes sense that most have never heard of it. Flour and sugar were staples that had to be purchased in town but the milk, eggs and butter were from the family farm and if you want to really taste this recipe as it was invented then fresh whole milk and churned butter with farm fresh eggs will have you realizing that the old timers in this country were not poor in great tastes!
You start by making a dough. I know most of us skip this part and let Pillsbury do the work for us but again – fresh is best. Cut together the flour, leaf lard, and salt until you have a crumbling consistency. Next add in the water slowly until a ball of dough is formed. Work quickly to roll out the dough to a ½ inch flat piece. Cream together the butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar until you have a paste. Spread evenly on the sheet of dough. Carefully roll up the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let set. Next cut in inch size pieces or rolls to fit into a casserole dish. This recipe tastes even better if fixed in a dutch oven over an open fire! Now its time for the best part. The custard sauce – several of my grandmothers recipes involved making a custard including her famous Banana Pudding. Simple but most don’t go to the effort anymore to make them. Combine milk, flour, egg yolks, sugar, salt, 3 egg yolks and butter in a sauce pan. Stir constantly until the sauce begins to thicken and butter melts and all ingredients are combined but not set. Pour over the rolls leaving tops of rolls exposed and bottom submerged in sauce. Cook in a 375 degree oven until rolls tops are brown and custard is slightly set. I love to have this for breakfast in the morning with coffee but it is good any time of day and especially on cold days where you just can’t seem to get the chill gone. You could also add in pecans, or peaches or apples but the plain and simple version works best for me! If you would like more information about our NTCC Farm, list of recipes or the agriculture program go to www.ntcc.edu/ag.
Mamaw’s Old Fashioned Butter Roll
Ingredients Serves 12
Baking & Spices
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, ground
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Leaf Lard or Shortening
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 cup White sugar
- 3/4 cup Butter
- 2 cups Milk
- 1/2 cup Water
- 2 cup milk (whole or heavy cream if you have it)
- 2 tbs of butter
- 1 tbs of vanilla flavoring
- 3 egg yolks beaten
- 1/3 cup of AP flour
- ¾ cup of sugar