When out in the back country we like to eat delicious and filling meals. Since almost everything tastes better with butter, I like being able to use it to flavor noodles, make white sauces, and top pancakes, toast and cornbread. We’ve even melted it to dip fresh lobster in when we were camping in Maine. Absolutely decadent! Since regular butter spoils, I learned to make homemade clarified butter, also known as Ghee or drawn butter. While it is available in the Indian section of many supermarkets, it is pricey and making it yourself allows you to use higher quality butter and also save yourself a pretty penny.
Homemade clarified butter is basically pure butter oil- it is the substance left when the milk solids are removed from melted butter. It also has a high smoke point which makes it an ideal oil to pan fry meats or prepare pancakes or griddle cakes. Making your own homemade clarified butter is easy and when backpacking, we always carry a jar with us. To start, use whatever butter you usually purchase. While I have read that only unsalted butter should be used, I have used regular salted butter with good results. You can make any amount you want for about the same effort, so I always make a large batch. Without refrigeration, I have kept jars of this golden deliciousness for as long as 4 weeks and it stayed just as fresh tasting as the day I made it. It has never lasted longer than that because we have always eaten it all so I am not sure how much longer it can keep! Read on for a recipe to make your own homemade clarified butter. Or click here for a video from allrecipes which shows you how easy it really is.
How to Make Homemade Clarified Butter:
Step 1: Slowly melt butter over low heat in a heavy pan.
Step 2: Continue to allow butter to slowly melt, without stirring.
Step 4: With a slotted spoon, skim the milk solids from the butter and set aside. If you are thrifty and don’t want to waste, you could use the discarded milk solids to mix with mashed potatoes or to top sauteed veggies.
Step 5: Once most of the milk solids have been skimmed, line a funnel with cheesecloth and set it inside a storage container. I like to put it in a mason jar for regular use or a wide mouth Nalgene container for taking backpacking.
Making homemade clarified butter to take on backpacking trips has definitely improved our meals on the trail. I’ve used in to make creamy mac and cheese, topped with honey on crispy fried griddle cakes, drizzled it over oatmeal, stirred it in to grits and made delicious scrambled eggs. Just as in your home kitchen, butter is versatile and there are endless opportunities for you to use it in your meals. Now that you see how easy it is to make homemade clarified butter, I hope you try making some for your next camping adventure!