Thursday, October 15, 2009

CLARIFIED BUTTER

While we were making breakfast yesterday at our Colorado Bed and Breakfast Lodge, we were making Apple Sausage Puff Pancakes (Click Here for Recipe), where you have to place ramekins in the oven until very hot, then add butter until melted, and then pour the pancake batter into the hot ramekins and butter. We've been making this recipe for years, and they're good. However, the butter almost always smokes and burns by the time we get the pancake batter into the ramekins. We'd heard that clarified butter had a higher smoke temperature so we decided to make claridied butter and try the recipe with clarified butter... what a difference! No smoke, no burned butter, and the pancakes rose extremely high, our guests were SO impressed when we served them, they kept saying "Wow... Wow..." So we've decided we're switching to clarified butter for anything we need to use melted butter in. Here's some tid bitd about clarified butter and how to make it...

Clarifying butter is removing milk solids from butterfat, giving you a clear golden fat that can be heated to a higher temperature without burning than whole butter, and can be stored for a long time as it does not go rancid. Here's how to make clarified butter:

1. To make 1 cup of clarified butter you'll need 1¼ cups of butter. (You will lose approximately 25% of the original butter's total volume when clarifying.)

2. Place the butter in a saucepan over a very low heat. Let the butter melt slowly, do not stir the butter while it is melting.

3. As the butter melts, it will separate into three layers. The top layer is a thin layer of foam, the middle layer contains the bulk of the liquid, and the bottom layer is where the water and most of the milk solids are. This natural separation is what makes clarifying possible.

4. Skim the foam off the surface of the butter, discard the foam. Be careful not to dip the ladle into the butterfat while skimming, as the fat should remain intact.

5. If you have a fat separator you can use this to slowly and carefully pour the remaining mixture into the fat separator and pour out the clear bottom layer of milk solids and discard those. The remaining yellow liquid is the final clarified butter. If you don't have a fat separator you can pour the liquid slowly and carefully into a clear measuring cup and slowly pour the yellow butter mixture into another container, being careful not to pour the clear milk solids. You can spoon any remaining yellow butter out if necessary; or use a ladle and skim the fat up and out of the pan, making sure not to let any of the clear liquid get into the ladle.

6. If the clarified butter sits for a moment, you might notice more foam float to the top; use a spoon to remove this last bit of foam.

7. The clarified butter can be stored in the refrigerator for quite some time without going rancid.

Visit our website's Recipes page for recipes from Colorado Bed and Breakfast Lodge.

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