- To make clarified butter, put cold butter (the amount doesn't matter, but it works best in ¼-cup increments) in a small, heavy saucepan and place over medium-low heat. As the butter slowly melts, the milk solids, or white residue, will slowly sink to the bottom of the pan and a bit of foam will rise to the top.
- Use a spoon to skim the foam from the surface. When the butter is completely melted, set a fine mesh strainer or skimmer over a storage jar or other container, and slowly pour the clear yellow liquid through the strainer, leaving the milky residue in the pan. Any milky residue that escapes will stay in the strainer.
- Let the butter cool, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until needed. French chefs use clarified butter because it has a higher smoke point than regular butter, which means it can be used for high-temperature sautéing without browning or burning.
- Indian cooks make and use clarified butter called ghee for the same reason, and also because once the milk solids have been removed, the butter can be stored without refrigeration and won’t turn rancid. Some Indian cooks heat the clarified butter until the milk solids are toasted, giving the ghee a mildly nutty taste.
- Clarified butter will keep in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator for 3 months or longer.