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Course: Pantry
Keyword: Condiments, Liquid Gold (a.k.a. Clarified Butter and Ghee), Make-Ahead

Liquid Gold (a.k.a. Clarified Butter and Ghee)

ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
Clarified butter is simply butter that has been cooked to remove any water and solids. Besides making the kitchen smell amazing, turning butter to clarified butter also gives the fat a higher smoke point (this just means you can cook with it at high temperatures) and lengthens the shelf life of the resulting fat.
Use clarified butter for frying and sautéing — it is excellent for cooking eggs, popping popcorn or cooking steak. Clarified butter also makes a mean hollandaise.
Ghee is clarified butter cooked further to nutty golden perfection. It’s basically an extreme version of clarified butter with a shelf life like uranium.
This recipe first appeared on altonbrown.com.
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Software

  • 1 pound high-quality butter
ACTIVE TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

Procedure

  • Place the butter in a large heat-proof jar such as a Mason jar. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth and attach with a rubber band. Place the jar in the middle of a heavy skillet – cast iron or carbon steel is ideal. Place the skillet over low heat.
  • Alternatively, place the butter in a 2-quart light-colored stainless-steel saucepan. Cover the pot with a small, overturned fine-mesh sieve that fits over the saucepan to catch any splatters. Place over low heat as directed.
  • At first the butter will melt, then the water will begin to boil out, then the milk solids will aggregate, sink to the bottom. When the liquid is clear, you've got clarified butter. Keep cooking until the butter begins to brown and you've got ghee. This entire process will take 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the butter, the pan, the heat, etc.
  • When the liquid butter is clear and deep gold with tiny bubbles rising from the bottom, the ghee is done. Strain through a fine sieve, cool to room temp, then cover tightly to store on the counter or in the fridge. The brown bits on the bottom of the jar are also delicious. I usually enjoy them on ice cream.
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