Clarified Butter: How-To Guide

Clarified Butter (Ghee) - The Lemon BowlEvery Christmas, my Aunt Paula gives the gift of rendered butter. Perhaps you’ve heard of clarified butter or ghee but in my family, we call it Syrian butter. By removing or separating the milk solids and salts from the butter, you are left with a clear, pure form of butter with a nutty and rich taste that simply cannot be duplicated.

If you want to take your fried egg to the next level, fry it with rendered butter. We also use it to prepare Syrian dishes such as baked kibbee or simply drizzled on top of hushwee (a meat, onion and pine nut mixture.)

I don’t cook with butter often or eat it on a daily basis but I am a firm believer in eating real, whole foods. I am also a firm believer in making your calories count. When I eat a high calorie item, it is going to be worth it.

A king sized Snickers bar? Not worth it. A little clarified butter with my fried egg every now and then? Yes, please.

My Aunt Paula has been gracious enough to offer a step by step instructional guide to making rendered butter at home. As you can imagine, it is much cheaper to do it yourself and with the holidays coming up, I can’t imagine anyone refusing the wonderful and magical gift of butter.

Your fried egg is waiting.

The Gift of Butter: Aunt Paula’s Guide to Rendered Butter
Step 1: Unwrap the butter.
Step 2: Put in heavy pan and place on high.
Step 3: High heat until it all melts. Watch carefully.
Step 4: Turn heat to low and add 1 cup coarse wheat. Stir every
now and then to keep the foam moving to the bottom to be
absorbed by the wheat.
IMPORTANT: Keep the heat low. Do
not let it boil or burn the wheat. You want it to “smile” not
bubble. This step takes 4 or 5 hours and pretty much takes
care of itself if the temp is right. Just check in and give it a stir
every hour or so.
Step 5: Eventually it will look like this. All of the gunk is at the
bottom of the pan and the pure butter is on top. It is ready to be
put in jars.
Step 6: I use a gallon pitcher with a strainer lined with 4
thickness of “butter” cheesecloth. Make sure you get butter
cloth because it is much finer gauge than regular grocery store
cloth. I buy it online from cheese making sites. It lasts forever.
Use a big ladel or cup and dip and pour through the strainer
into the pitcher.
Step 7: When the pitcher is full, pour the butter into canning jars.
Step 8: Let it cool before you put the caps on.
 Step 9: Voila! All done. Store in the basement where it is cool.
No need to refrigerate.


  1. Sarah H. says

    Wow! Wheat in Ghee? Thanks for the heads up. I make my own but being gluten sensitive I’m always on the lookout for hidden wheat, never thought to look here. :)

    • Niki W says

      Hi Sarah,
      Can you please share how you make yours, I don’t fancy the idea of using wheat. Thanks a bunch! Liz – thank you for the info!

      • Liz DellaCroce says

        Hi Niki! You can skip the wheat portion! My Aunt does it to help the process but it is 100% optional. Follow the recipe the same way just skip the wheat step. :) Enjoy!!

  2. says

    I’m sitting here trying to mentally calculate how many pounds of butter she does at once, but lose track somewhere around 12. I can TOTALLY see myself doing this. How much does your Auntie do at once? And what is her yield (ish)???

    • says

      Ok just spoke with my aunt and she usually does 20 pounds of unsalted butter which is the equivalent of 10 quarts. She said she usually ends up with 8 or 9 quarts of rendered butter. Does that help?? :)

  3. Tina Sutter says

    Can you bake cookies and cakes with this rendered butter just the same as regular? or do you add something to replace the butter solids?

    • says

      No I never have – this type of butter has so much nutty flavor I wouldn’t want to mask that or compete with it. BUT I love the idea of a flavored butter using regular butter!


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