Clarified butter is a wonderful ingredient to work with in the kitchen. If you’ve never heard of it, butter that has been clarified is 100 percent butterfat, and all the milk solids and water have been removed. You can buy clarified butter at a specialty food store, but it’s just as easy to make. So here’s how to clarify butter:
1) Start by cutting unsalted butter into 1 inch cubes. This will allow the butter to melt faster and more evenly.
2) In a saucepot on medium-low heat, begin to melt the butter. DO NOT stir the butter! You want the milk solids to rise to the top, and stirring will only reincorporate everything together. Also, DO NOT BOIL OR SIMMER! This will also reincorporate the solids and fat.
3) Once all the butter has melted, and a layer of frothy white substance rises to the top (your milk solids), turn off the heat. With a large spoon, skim off the solids that have risen. What’s left is beautiful, clarified butter! Pour into a glass container and allow to cool.
Why should I clarify butter?
Once butter is clarified, it has a higher smoke point, meaning you can use it a higher temperature without burning. As well, you can keep clarified butter for a longer period of time because there is no longer any water to encourage spoilage. Clarified Butter is great for cooking omelets, searing fish, or pan frying a variety of ingredients. It’s also great for butter sauces like béarnaise and hollandaise, as well as a roux.