one pound butter
Materials and Utensils:
sauce pan 1.5-2 quart as preferred by chef
spoon to stir butter as it melts
a heavy duty freezer food storage bag 1-2 quart size
pencil, nail, large fork, pointy object, preferably NOT a knife
2 feet butcher's twine
small sharp scissor
one 16 ounce, or larger mason jar
one 16 ounce bowl
}?>This method of making clarified butter uses basic utensils found in every kitchen and produces a high yield of very pure clarified butter that can be accomplished even by novice cooks on the first attempt. There is no cheese cloth and no filtering. This method is unorthodox for the kitchen, but is well at home in the organic chemistry laboratory. The key word to remember is "separatory funnel" and the plastic bag will be a disposable sep funnel.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and then allow it to just simmer very lightly for about 5 minutes. Stir while the butter melts to break up the proteinaceous clumps. Simmering lightly will ultra-pasteurize the butter and will thoroughly liquefy the butter and allow the water and white protein components to sink to the bottom, the fluffy protein layer to float to the top and the butter fats to be in the middle.
Next, remove the saucepan from the heat and keep covered to keep out airborne bacteria and allow to cool until it reaches about 120 degrees, or is just a little too hot to comfortably hold. It does not matter if water condenses on the saucepan lid while it is cooling.
When it reaches this temperature, carefully pour it into the plastic heavy duty freezer storage bag and zip it closed.
While holding the bag upright, in a top corner of the bag, about 1.5-in from the side and top, punch about a 1/8-in hole through the bag with a pointy object like a carving fork, not a knife.
Feed a length of butcher's twine though the hole and tie the string to the bag. Do not use a thin monofilament string that might tend to tear the plastic bag. Take the other end of the string and tie it to the handle of a cabinet door so the lowest corner of the bag hangs about 6-12 inches over your kitchen counter where you will place your collection vessels. (You could forego the string and tying it part, but you would have to have everything else very close at hand and would have to hold the liquid butter for the rest or the procedure - boring and not very appealing. The heavy duty freezer bag and butcher's twine will easily support this.) Allow the bag to hang for 10 minutes.
You will see the butter separate into three fairly distinct layers as described above. Once the layers are distinct, have the first bowl positioned beneath the lowest corner of the bag. Then use the scissors (not a knife-you need a clean cut) to cut off the corner 1/8-in of the bag and allow the watery component to slowly drain into the bowl. If the flow is too slow, and it is clogging, snip off a tiny bit more. It is ok for the corner tip of the bag to fall in because this is refuse.
Once the watery part is emptied, have your mason jar ready and just slide the bowl over and place the mason jar under the flow and catch your clarified butter.}?>
Watch as the golden fatty component drains out, and, when the foamy white top layer is about to drain, slide the first bowl back under to collect the remainder of the fluid in the bag. That's it. You have one bowl of refuse and one mason jar of clarified butter. If you want to make it even purer, you can pour the clarified butter back into a clean pan and repeat, but unless you misjudge the flow as you collect it, this should not be necessary.
If anything goes wrong on your first attempt, just collect the butter, re-heat and do it again.
Start by cutting a small drain hole in the corner of the bag. If the flow is too slow, you can always cut the hole slightly larger.
It may be necessary to light tap the side of the bag as the butter is draining to unstick the material from the sides of the bag.
I have used this method for over twenty years.
GaryProtein is an avid contributor to discussions throughout Cooking For Engineers.}?>