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Because the milk solids (which make butter burn when used for frying) have
been removed, clarified butter may be used to cook at higher temperatures than
regular butter (behaving like an oil). Therefore it is used in any preparation
that require very high temperatures (mainly in pastry-making and with spices).
In other cases, it may be replaced by a mixture of half vegetable oil and half
Melt the unsalted butter over very low heat
in a bain-marie. Let it melt, without any
stirring, for at least ½ hour. It is
ready when most of the water has evaporated and the butter has separated into
three layers: foam on top, a golden liquid (the one to keep) in the middle and
the milk solids (light-brown) which sink to the bottom of the pan.
After the foam is skimmed off the top with a spoon,
pour the clear butter into a container, paying attention not to include any of
the milky residue. Filtering through a cheese-cloth may be helpful.
Let cool down and put in the refrigerator.
Clarifed butter can be stored one month in the refrigerator (lack of milk
solids prevents it from becoming rancid as quickly as regular butter).
During clarification, butter loses about 40% of its weight. However, you will
need only one spoonful of clarified butter instead of two spoonfuls of regular
butter. Hence, this operation requires time but not money!