How to Make Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Before learning how to clarify butter it’s helpful to understand what clarified butter really is. This will make the process as well as its uses much simpler to understand.
What is Clarified Butter?
To help understand what clarified butter is, let discuss first what butter itself is. Butter is made up of three main components: 1) 80% fat, 2) 20% milk solids and 3) water.
When butter is heated, it melts. When butter is heated these three components split apart from one another and settle into different layers.
At the bottom of the heating vessel you will have a white cloudy substance; this substance is actually the milk solids and water. On top, you will have the golden liquid that is known as clarified butter or what is know in Indian cuisine as ghee.
The milk solids are what causes butter to burn, so clarified butter can be heated to much higher temperatures than normal butter. It is also very useful in emulsified sauces such as hollandaise.
How to Clarify Butter | Ghee Butter
- 200 g butter
- Place the butter in the pot or the microwave dish.
- Place the pot on the stove over low-medium heat and allow to cook for approx. 20 minutes, be careful not to burn it.
- Or place the dish in the microwave and heat on medium for about 10 minutes.
- As you are heating it, every few minutes skim the surface with a ladle and remove any impurities.
- Once you’ve finished heating it remove the pot or dish from the heat and allow the butter parts to separate and form individual levels, (see photo).
- Skim off any more impurities and then carefully pour off the top golden layer and discard the white bottom layer.
- The clarified butter can be used immediately or stored in the fridge (will require re-melting upon next use).