To clarify butter, melt the butter over low heat in a heavy saucepan without stirring. When the butter is completely melted, you will see a clear, oily layer on top of a milky layer with a foamy layer at the surface. Use a spoon to skim the foamy layer off the top, then slowly pour the clear liquid into a dish, leaving the milky layer at the bottom in the pan. The clear liquid is the clarified butter. Discard the milky liquid. (You also can strain the butter through cheesecloth to remove the foamy layer.)
The clarified butter will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Although best known as a dipping sauce for lobster, clarified butter can be heated to high temperatures without burning. That makes it a good choice when you want to sauté foods at high temperatures.
What's the difference between clarified butter and ghee? Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been cooked a bit longer, and its origins can be traced to the Indian subcontinent. It's commonly used in Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, but you can sometimes substitute clarified butter for recipes that call for ghee. The process for making ghee is very similar to making clarified butter, and sometimes spices are added to ghee for flavor.
You can't separate lobster tails and clarified butter, but there are a few other tricks you can do with butter. Try these recipes with clarified butter, or try one of our flavored or compound butter recipes for a new twist.