Today I wanted to show you how easy it is to make your own ghee. Ghee is a form of clarified butter used in a lot of paleo and South Asian recipes. I use ghee in place of butter because it has a higher smoke point and almost all the milk solids are removed which makes it safe(r) for people with allergies to lactose and casein (like hubs). It also has a fantastic sweet and nutty flavour that I love. Cooking up a batch of ghee makes my whole kitchen smell like toffee!
You can buy ghee, but it’s so easy to make your own too. The only things you need are a pot, cheesecloth (or something similar) to strain the ghee, and a jar to keep the finished product in.
Start with good quality unsalted butter. Break up the butter into smaller pieces and throw them into a deep pot over low heat.
Let it melt and leave it on the stove to simmer. Once the melted butter is simmering, it will start to produce a layer of foam on top. This foam is the water cooking off. I skim off as much foam as I can so I can see the butter better, but don’t worry about getting it all.
Watch that the butter doesn’t boil over. I like to skim the excess foam off every few minutes so I can keep an eye on the butter, but it isn’t necessary. Over the course of 12-15 minutes, the foam will begin to subside as the water evaporates. At around that point, the butter will start to turn translucent. Keep cooking past that stage until it turns clear. Notice how you can see the bottom of the pot in this next picture? If you stop here, this is the clarified butter often used in baking or over lobster, but we’re not done yet. (Oh god, now I’m thinking about fresh lobster with garlic and clarified butter…)
Continue simmering the butter and keep a close eye on the little bits of milk protein stuck on the bottom of the pot. You want these to caramelize but not burn. Your ghee is ready when it turns a beautiful clear golden colour and the candy/toffee aroma fills your kitchen. Those brown speckles you can see on the bottom of the pot are the caramelized milk solids.
Take the ghee off the heat and strain out the remaining foam and bits of milk solids through some cheesecloth into a clean glass jar with a tight lid. Make sure it’s completely dry inside. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can use clean medical gauze or a new coffee filter. Don’t quote me on it, but I’ve heard that even a paper towel will do in a pinch.
And here’s the finished product. I wanted you to see the gorgeous colour and clarity. See how the light shines through it? As it cools, the ghee will solidify, but this is how it should look right after cooking. Your ghee should last several weeks in the cupboard (make sure you keep the lid on tightly to prevent oxidation and keep water out of it) or longer if you refrigerate it.
I participate in some fantastic recipe and green living link-ups. Check out my Link Parties page to see where I’m linking up and find some wonderful blogs and more amazing recipes!