Clarified Butter French Supermarket Style
The label says it doesn’t blacken and it won’t, because what it really is is clarified butter, butter with the milk solids (the stuff that burns) removed. (Ghee, which is used in Indian cooking, is like clarified butter but, because more or all of the water has been cooked away, it can be kept at room temperature.) Clarified butter is a chef’s staple, an ingredient that helps keep the delicacy and finesse of sauted foods intact. Now that I’ve found this butter, I’ve added it to my ritual carry-homes along with the seawood and salted butters of Jean-Yves Bordier.
Of course, you can make beurre de cuisson at home. Start with unsalted butter cut into small pieces (and start with at lfew sticks – it doesn’t pay to put in the effort for a couple of spoonfuls). Put the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently, gently melt it. Continue to cook the butter until there’s foam on top, a milky white layer on the bottom and, in between, the clear butter you’re after. (How long you need to cook the butter will depend on how much butter you’ve got – be patient, it can take about 30 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat and carefully spoon off the foamy top layer and discard. Spoon the clarified layer into a clean container and keep it well covered in the fridge; toss away the solids that remain in the pan.
It’s not hard to clarify butter, but it is just fussy enough to give you another reason to envy the French and their markets.