Clarify means “to make clear,” and this applies to both information (by clearing up any misunderstandings) and butter (by physically making it clear).
This is extremely important when it comes to cooking with butter, as butter is made up of many different parts.
Some of those parts, specifically the milk-solids, burn at a relatively low temperature. When this happens, they get a very distinctive burnt bitter flavour.
To stop this, chefs use a process called clarifying to sift out the different parts. It’s a relatively simple process, as the following video explains. Make sure to do this whenever you want to cook butter at high temperatures, like in frying.
For lower temperature uses, like pouring on popcorn, you don’t need to do that.
Make sure you don’t try to use a sifter to separate the butter from the milk-solids. It is almost impossible for any sieve to catch the milk solids. And do be careful when pouring, as you will have to re-clarify the butter if you accidentally contaminate it.
Depending on how much clarified butter you are making, there may not be very much left over whey. If you are making a lot, leftover whey can easily be used to make ricotta.
Any leftover milk solids can definitely be used anywhere butter would be. It has great flavour and should not be wasted.
- Spread on toast
- Add to rice
- Add to vegetables
- Use to baste meat or fish
In the following video, Rainbow Gardens explains how to clarify butter quickly and easily.
Do you use clarified butter? Let us know. Our readers would love to hear how you use it and what you do with the leftover whey and milk solids.