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If you scour the internet you will find any number of YouTube videos and blog postings detailing how to can butter for long-term storage. Don’t believe it. There is no USDA approved way to can butter. At best, you risk losing your money when the butter gets rancid and you have to toss it out. At worst, you can get sick.

There is one way to preserve butter and that’s as ghee. Ghee is clarified butter. The pure butter fat is separated from the milk solids. The resulting golden delight will store at room temperature for, well, I don’t know. I have read 3 months and I have  read a year. I would ere on the side of caution and use it within 3 months or refrigerate it.

The process is very simple. Wait for a good, unsalted butter to go on sale. Cut up 1 pound and set it over low heat. IMG_3877.JPG As the butter melts you will notice white foam rising to the top. Skim this off. While the butter melts. I wash a couple of 6 ounce canning jars and set them, with lids and rings, in a pan of simmering water. The process takes about 20 minutes. Don’t rush it. If you remove the butter before it is completely clarified you will end up with residual milk solids and your ghee will not last long.  IMG_3880.JPGWhen the milk solids start to brown and most of the foam has been skimmed off, it’s time to strain the ghee through a  strainer lined with a piece of cheese cloth. 1 pound of butter produces 12 ounces of ghee. Now put on your lid and ring and you’re done. It really couldn’t be easier.

Ghee has a very high smoking point so it’s great for frying. The flavor is rich an nutty. It’s delicious spread on a slice of warm bread. I like to sauté garlic in ghee, add some Parmesan cheese and top pasta with it. If you do decide to refrigerate your ghee, bring it to room temperature before you try to use it. Without the milk solids, it turns rock hard in the cold.

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