Clarified butter is butter that goes under a differentiation process in which the dairy solids and water are separated from butterfat. Differentiation means that the different materials in one sample will rearrange according to their specific densities. In this case, water evaporates, low density solids float on the surface and look foam like, butter fat remains in the middle, and high density solids sink to the bottom. The process will be carried out heating the butter above melting point for a long period of time.
The final product will feature these characteristics:
- Super reduced amount of lactose and casein, making it suitable for most lactose intolerant people.
- A higher smoke point (252 °C / 486 °F) than regular butter (163-190 °C / 325-374 °F), which is convenient for deep frying beacuse regular butter can easily get burnt.
- If cooked for a long time during differentiation, it will have soft taste of nuts due to the caramelisation of the solids. This is a characteristic that industrial clarified butter does not have because differentiation is accelerated by centrifugation.
Step 1: Ingredient
BUTTER: It must have at least 82% of butterfat, with no added salt.
Step 2: Procedure
- Set the stove at low temperature (3-4/10 in a scale from 1 to 10, being 10 the maximum intensity of the stove). For the 250 g of butter that are used in this instructable, it will take 30 minutes to be clarified.
- At the beginning, some bubbles will appear on top. It is just the water from the butter evaporation. No action is needed.
- The solids will move to the surface and to the bottom of the pot. If the temperature of the stove is set too high, the solids from the bottom will get burnt and will make the clarified butter have a bitter taste.
- Remove the solids from the surface as they appear.
- As soon as you can see the bottom of the pot (when the butter is translucent) you can pour the clarified butter into a jar. You can do this directly, making sure you don't drop any of the solids at the bottom into the jar; or through a fine net colander or filter (coffee filter for a better result), to make sure you also remove any solids left on the surface.
- Now the estimated butterfat content is 97%. If the process is repeated again with the clarified butter, one can obtain a 99%.
- The clarified butter will be liquid at room temperature. At 8-12ºC (46-53ºF) it will be somewhat solid.
- Keep the jar tightly closed so that you avoid exposing the clarified butter to air and in a place not exposed to light.
Step 3: Final Notes
- It lasts 3-4 months storing it at room temperature.
- When taking some butter from the jar, use always very clean kitchen utensils not contaminated with saliva or food. And neither try the clarified butter by dipping your finger in it ಠ_ಠ