How to Make Clarified Butter in Four Simple Steps

Times Staff Writer

Clarified butter, drawn butter and ghee are one in the same--butter that has been melted and had the milk solids removed. The result is a clear yellow liquid that tolerates higher cooking temperatures and, stored in a covered jar, keeps for weeks in the refrigerator and even longer if frozen.

To clarify butter, place any amount in a heavy pan over low heat (Photo 1). As the butter melts, the white milk solids will begin rising to the surface (Photo 2).

Keep the heat low so the butter does not brown. Continue to boil until the white solids look curdled (Photo 3). Then remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a glass measuring cup.

After standing for a few minutes, the butter will settle into three layers (Photo 4). Skim the thin butter fat layer from the top and pour or strain the clear yellow liquid into a clean container with a tight fitting lid. Discard the milk solids that settle to the bottom.

Each one-half cup of butter should yield about one-third cup clarified butter. Use the clarified butter for sauteing delicate flavored foods, as a sauce for lobster, to make brown and black butter and as a baking ingredient.

Requests for explanations of cooking techniques may be sent to Back to Basics, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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