[Sca-cooks] Butter

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Jun 23 12:56:52 PDT 2008

On Jun 23, 2008, at 1:46 PM, Dragon wrote:

> Kerri Martinsen wrote:
>> So I'm mostly curious about the clarified butter.  Has anyone  
>> tested the
>> shelf life of it?  Should I add salt to the butter before  
>> clarifing?  After
>> clarifing?
> ---------------- End original message. ---------------------
> In India, it's called ghee. It's used ubiquitously as a fat for  
> frying and it lasts a long time even in their hot climate.
> Look up references on making ghee.

Ghee and clarified butter are similar, but not identical, and I'd  
hesitate to make such a claim to anybody other than an American (for  
example, either Escoffier or Maddhur Jaffrey, say). Clarified butter  
is melted, brought to a simmer, allowed to settle, skimmed of all  
foam, then the clear yellow butterfat is skimmed (or chilled and  
physically removed) off the water phase.

Ghee is cooked slowly until all water evaporates, and the milk solids  
begin to caramelize slightly; this gives it a slightly different  
flavor and color from European-style clarified butter.

But both keep a long time (they can still go rancid if left exposed to  
the air in hot temperatures for a long time), and both have a higher  
smoke point for cooking than regular butter. It's just that if you put  
them side by side on little plates, they're not quite the same.

As for shelf life, all I can say is, it lasts significantly longer  
than ordinary butter, salted or otherwise. I've never managed to keep  
clarified butter for any significant period of time, except as a seal  
for various potted meats -- the English version of those confits the  
French would seal in duck or goose fat. These are designed to keep a  
couple of months in cool, but not necessarily cold, temperatures: in  
the larder, not the refrigerator.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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