Clarifying butter: step-by-step
Clarified butter is the golden butterfat left after milk solids and water have been removed. It has a higher smoking point than regular butter so is a good option when you want to cook something in butter for longer or at a higher heat but don’t want to use oil. Clarified butter is great for sautéing and also for making hollandaise.
It is also a good choice for people with dairy intolerances (but not allergies) because the milk solids have been removed. It will keep for about three-six months refrigerated.
Ghee is the Indian version of clarified butter but it is cooked longer so is darker and nuttier. And remember, waste not want not - the solids skimmed off the butter when clarifying it are delicious over rice, stirred into pasta or used to flavour popcorn.
About ¼ of the volume will be lost when clarifying butter.
Step 1: Place unsalted butter into a saucepan and heat it slowly to melt. Do not stir.
Step 2: Wait until no more foam (the milk solids and water) comes to the surface then remove the pan from the heat.
Step 3: Skim the surface, leaving as much clear liquid as possible. Don’t worry about getting it all at this stage because you will be straining it.
Step 4: Put a couple of layers of cheesecloth/muslin into a sieve over a bowl (or use a coffee filter if you don’t have any cheesecloth). Pour in the liquid to drip through.
Step 5: Leave behind, don’t strain, any solids remaining in the bottom of the saucepan.
Step 6: Store clarified butter in a covered jar in the fridge.
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Recipes using clarified butter
Try out these recipes using your homemade clarified butter.