Friday, March 5, 2010

How to prepare Clarified Butter

Clarified Butter is commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African Cuisines and they call it Samen Baladi. Its widely used in Indian Cuisines where it is called Ghee. The French call it Buerre Noisette.

Clarified Butter has a higher smoking point, tastier with nutty flavour, last longer and its lactose free.

Clarifying butter is as simple as melting butter and letting the milk solids settle or rise out of the fat. Care should be taken not to burn the butter while heating it, so use a heavy pan that doesn't have any hotspots. When using salted butter, it is difficult to guess how much salt will remain in the clarified butter. A lot of the salt can be found in the milk solids as it settles or foams up, but the exact amount will be different every time. Use unsalted butter to remove any uncertainty (you can add salt to the clarified butter later to achieve the desired saltiness).

To make approximately 1/2 cup of clarified butter, melt one cup (225 g) of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a good saucepan, you can just leave it there over low heat while doing something else and the butter will slowly melt. Turning up the heat will melt the butter faster, but the milk solids may begin to burn, so, resist the temptation. Instead, you can cut up the butter into pieces to speed up melting. Also, if you don't have a small saucepan, it may be best to use more butter. Too little butter in a large diameter pan will make it difficult to separate the solids from the fat later.

When the butter has completely melted, continue to heat it over low heat. Some milk solids will drop to the bottom of the pan while others will rise as foam. As the milk solids rise to the top, they can be skimmed off. (Or, it can be removed when the butter cools.)

At this point you can remove the butter from the heat and skim off all the foam. Let the butter cool a bit to let more of the solids settle and then pour or spoon out the clarified fat, leaving the remaining milk solids in the pan.

Alternatively, pour the hot melted butter through cheesecloth to filter out the foam and solids that have settled, catching the clarified butter in a jar.

Or, pour the hot butter into a container, allow it to separate while cooling and then refrigerate. After it has solidified, you can easily scrape off the hardened foam from the stiff clarified butter layer.

Although pure clarified butter does not need to be refrigeration, I recommend you store your clarified butter in the refrigerator (at least for the first time when you make the Semen, as some milk solids may still be present and may cause the butter to go rancid). Use the clarified butter as you would use regular butter (tablespoon for tablespoon) in recipes.

Semen or clarified butter has no more lactose, so lactose-sensitive individuals should be able to enjoy clarified butter without the uncomfortable effects those of us who are lactose intolerant are well aware of.

أفضل الطرق لعمل المسلي (السمن البلدي)

يُستخلص السمن من الزبد عن طريق التبخير، وكما نعلم فإن الزبد يُصنع من الحليب كامل الدسم، وبالتالي يتأثر المذاق والنوعية بنوع الحليب المُستخدم. يُسيح الزبد في إناء سميك على نار هادئة، ثم تُرفع الحرارة إلى متوسطة حتى تبدأ في الغليان ثم تخفض مرة أخرى. مع تقليب الزبد السائح تقليباً مستمرا ً حتى يتبخر منه جزء كبير من الماء ثم يُترك على النار بدون تقليب ليتراكم الحليب الصلب بقاع الإناء، وبسبب ملامسته للقاع فسيتحول لونه إلى البني ويترك الزبد الذي تحول إلى مسلي حتى يصبح لونه اصفر كهرماني شفافاً، يُرفع من على النار ويُترك جانباً حتى يبرد قليلاً ثم يُصفى ( وعند تصفيته يُراعى عدم خلط المترسب في القاع مع المسلي )، يُعبأ في برطمانات نظيفة مجففة ويغلق جيداً.

عند استخدام السمن على نار مرتفعة نلاحظ تحملها للحرارة على عكس الزبد، والسبب في ذلك هو كمية الحليب السائل الذي تبخر أثناء عملية التحول من زبد إلى سمن، فإذا كان الغرض استخدام النكهة فقليل من السمن يكفي لإعطاء النكهة المطلوبة، وإن لم يكن لدينا السمن فيمكن استخدام قليل من الزيت ( زيت خضار بدون نكهة قوية) مع الزبد وذلك يساعد على تحمل الزبد للحرارة. وكما يتم في حالة الزيت من إضافة نكهات مختلفة من أعشاب عطرية وبهارات وتوابل عن طريق تسخين الزيت ووضع الأعشاب أو البهار به فيمكن اتباع نفس الخطوات مع السمن.


Angie's Recipes said...

I usually just get the clarified butter from the supermarkets...thanks for sharing the tips!

Kathleen said...

Oh my gosh you make this sound so easy. The cookbook I got from my MIL said to cook the butter with bulghur then through it out. Seemed like a waste to me. I like your method!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love using clarified butter in items like baklava, it seems to really make the world of difference! :)

Heather said...

Thank you for this very useful advice and the different methods you offer. I like the method about placing the clarified butter in the fridge and the pouring off the top liquid.

Mamatkamal said...

Salam Arlette,
I prepare Sman but moroccan-amazigh version, we call it Oudi, so delicious!
Thanks for the recipe and the useful advice.
Have a great weekend

Mary said...

You've taken us one step closer to self-sufficiency in the kitchen. This was a great post. I hope you have a wonderful day...Mary