Stove-top Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Do you want the benefits of butter without the digestive side effects of lactose or casein intolerance?  You may want to try making your own clarified butter. 

The equipment for making Ghee is simple.  You will need a stainless or glass saucepan, a very fine mesh strainer (I use a tea strainer) and a jar.  Use the best quality pasture raised, organic butter you can find.  Cultured, unsalted butter works best.  Raw butter is great, but it’s not necessary in this recipe because you will be cooking it.

ImageButter, saucepan, strainer, jar and stove – that’s all you need to make your own Ghee!

Put your butter into the saucepan and melt it over medium-low heat.  The butter will begin to crackle and foam as it comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to boil undisturbed for 20-30 minutes.  Listen closely to the crackling noises because they will stop briefly when the water content is evaporated.  The boiling sound will deepen and the white film on the bottom of the pan will just begin to turn tan.  When this happens, remove the ghee from the heat right away.  If left too long, it will start to burn and turn brown.

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I like to skim off some of the top foam while the butter is cooking.  This makes it easier to see what is going on with the ghee.  If you are not sensitive to lactose and casein, you may use the discarded foam to season vegetables.  It’s delicious stirred into cooked spinach.

Allow your ghee to cool slightly before gently pouring it through a tea strainer into a jar.  You will have about 1 1/2 cups of ghee from one pound of butter.  I like to re-use the jars from store-bought ghee.  Then I can feel good about all the money I saved by making my own.  Spending six dollars on a pound of organic, pasture-raised butter seems very reasonable compared to eleven dollars for a jar of store-bought ghee.

ImageYour finished product may not be perfectly free of milk solids.  If you are very allergic, you will still want to purchase your ghee.  Fortunately, my own family does fine with home-made ghee.  Ghee is not just for Indian food.  I love it for all my cooking.  It adds a lovely butter flavor without the easy burning and browning of butter.  I also like to spread it on toast with a dash of salt.  I feel good that my daughter and I can get the benefits of pasture raised butter without digestive issues.  Health benefits are great, but I won’t deny that taste is my biggest reason for wanting to use real butter in my home cooking.  There’s simply nothing else like it.

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