While it is true that shop-bought ready-prepared peanut butter is (in general) readily available in places where peanut butter is part of the staple diet, it is also true that in other parts of the world it is not so easy to get hold of (a bit like Marmite). If you should find yourself in such a place - or you simply have a yen for that homemade taste - do not despair. As it turns out, peanut butter is astonishingly simple to make. Warning: this product may contain nuts.
- 500g (1lb) shelled peanuts
- Approx 30ml (2 tablespoons) peanut oil
- Salt (to taste)
Generally speaking you can buy your peanuts already roasted - either salted or unsalted are acceptable for this recipe. However, if you really want to go from first principles, for the ultimate in freshness, you can roast your own. This can be done with the shells on or off - the times given are for peeled peanuts. If roasting with the shell on, add another ten minutes. Just place your peanuts onto a baking tray and roast in a cool oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Once cooled, peel away the shells. Any red skin should be easy to rub off using a clean tea towel.
Next, grind the nuts up. A blender/food mixer is ideal for doing this. Of course, it depends on whether you are a smooth or crunchy peanut butter person as to just how small you grind the nuts.
Then simply add the oil a few drops at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a paste of your preferred consistency. If you are using a blender/food mixer, you can add the oil all at once and whizz for about 15 seconds.
Add salt to taste, and enjoy!
A Note About Peanut Oil
If you can't find peanut oil1, pretty much any other kind of cooking oil is an acceptable alternative. Just remember that if the oil has a strong flavour (eg sesame oil), your peanut butter will also have that flavour.