I did make some earlier in the week, but I wasn't completely happy with it, so wanted to play around a little. Tonight I had the opportunity to fiddle a little more, and am quite content that I never need buy the stuff again.
On attempt one I bought natural peanuts - just the unadulterated nuts. I also overcooked them ever so slightly, which made them a little bitter (they were still edible, especially once skinned, but not really the flavour I was after). I didn't really want peanut butter full of flaky peanut skins so unrobed them by rolling them vigorously in a clean teatowel.
Once they were skinless I popped them in my trusty mini food processor (stick blender attachment) and ground them to a pulp. I added perhaps 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil to about 350g of nuts - but I'm not sure if I needed to - it might have come together on its own if I'd pulverised it for longer. Anyway, the overcooked nuts made it slightly too bitter, and it was quite oily too, so on to round two.
The second lot of nuts I bought were roasted, salted nuts, which don't cost any more and conveniently come skinless already. They're also coated in vegetable oil and salt (which I would otherwise add - what is peanut butter if not a sodium carrier, after all?). Since I'd heard that roasting could lend an amazing depth of flavour and the off-the-shelf "roast" looked a tad anaemic, I popped some of these in the oven too - just 10 minutes at about 170 C. Blended them up, with a much better result than the first lot. But... Well, I'm pretty lazy. And I don't know about you, but when I'm looking to eat peanut butter I'm not necessarily seeking smoky, complex flavours and depth - so I thought I'd try straight from the bag, too.
They don't look as pretty and golden, but they still blend well. If you try this, you'll think it won't work - the nuts first become crumblike, and look as if they're too dry to combine. They will eventually release their oil, though - blend in short bursts if you fear for your food processor's motor - so stick at it and you'll get a very spreadable paste.
It won't be as smooth as the stuff you buy, but it's smoother than I expected. Do feel free to further roast your nuts if you like even your humble PB to have depth - but do you know, I really do prefer the anaemic one. It's extra likeable when you think about how easy it is to make - buy salted roasted peanuts, place in food processor, blitz. Spread on hot toast or eat by the spoonful.
I'm finding it unbelievable that it's never occurred to me before now to make peanut butter myself - we grow so accustomed to getting things from the supermarket. It definitely does work out cheaper than buying it [edit: it works out cheaper than Eta or Sanitarium or nicer brands - it'll cost about the same as the cheap brands but I dislike them so my analysis was flawed. Sorry!] - and you can choose how you have it. Have you ever discovered how to make something you assumed was far more difficult than it is?