How to Make Clarified Butter
Clarified butter is used when you’ll be frying something either for an extended period or over high heat. For those times when you want the flavor of butter, rather than oil, you’ll want to use clarified butter can stand being cooked longer, and to a higher temperature, than regular butter. Clarifying butter removes the milk solids, which are what causes the butter to burn if cooked for a long time.
Many Indian cooks use ghee, which is similar, except it’s usually been cooked longer to decrease the moisture and deepen the flavor, and is sometimes seasoned with turmeric, fenugreek, or another spice. But in its plain form, it’s interchangeable in recipes that call for clarified butter and can be found in markets that specialize in Indian cooking or online.
Be sure to use unsalted butter. And use a good quality one—you’ll notice the difference once it’s reduced down.
You can clarify any quantity of butter than you wish. If you want to make a specific quantity for a recipe, figure that you’ll lose about 25% of the volume of butter. So for example, if you start with 4 ounces (115gr) of butter, you’ll end up with approximately 3 ounces (85gr) of clarified butter.
A little jar of clarified butter in the refrigerator is nice to have on hand for scrambling eggs, frying meats, fish, and vegetables in a skillet, or stirring into a pot of just-cooked rice. It’s sometimes called into play in the pastry kitchen as well.
Related Links and Recipes
Clarified Butter (Wikipedia)
How to Brown Butter (Simply Recipes)
Flavored Ghee (Delectable Visuals)