For a week or two now there’s been a 500ml carton of whipping cream staring back at me every time I open the fridge. I don’t remember why I bought it. I probably had a grandiose baking idea one day then ran out of time and/or energy before getting around to it. After arriving home after a few days out of town, I noticed that my heavy cream was about to expire. So, I did what anybody would do. I whipped up some homemade ghee.
The joy of using stuff up
I really don’t like wasting food.
Partly because I don’t like wasting money, and partly because I get a lot of satisfaction from rescuing perfectly useable stuff. That being said, I am guilty of throwing out the odd scrap when I just don’t feel like dealing with it.
In these moments of weakness, I end up taking myself out for a whole new exciting grocery shopping trip. I make big exciting plans for the upcoming week of food, and it gives me a nice boost of ‘grocery shopping dopamine.’
But I’ve decided that groceries are like a relationship that only lasts a week. The anticipation is major. Walking through the aisles, making decisions, checking prices… it’s exciting.
Then you bring it all home, load up the cupboards, and if you’re like me–you immediately build the snack of your dreams.
A few days later, the honeymoon is over.
The celery starts to wilt–no longer begging to be transformed into ants on a log).
There’s only 1 egg left (and one scrambled egg is the saddest thing I can imagine).
- There’s honey- but no yogurt to drizzle it over.
- There are crackers, but no cheese.
- There are no more pickles.
I could go on.
So you get creative.
Your snacks start to become make-shift versions of your original cravings.
I mean, A single perfectly poached egg will often do the trick, but the feeling you get when you open the fridge is less dreamy than it once was.
The relationship with your groceries ends due to a lack of enthusiasm and a pining for something new.
Back to that expired cream
So I had this whipping cream and I really didn’t want to throw it out. So to extend its life, I decided to make ghee. Ghee is the Indian version of clarified butter, which from my understanding, cooks longer than French clarified butter. Unlike the French version, ghee cooks for a long time–allowing the milk solids to brown, and the water in the butter to evaporate.
The moisture in food is what causes spoilage (which is why dry bread crumbs don’t get mouldy and why butter lasts longer than cream). So, with the water from the butter evaporated away, your homemade ghee should last for a few months in the fridge or a few weeks on the counter.
Plus, browning the milk solids make it really nutty and rich. It’s also really easy and very satisfying. Ghee has a really high smoke point, so it is perfect to cook with on high heat.
How To Use Homemade Ghee
Because ghee handles high heat so well, it’s great for applications like frying fish, searing meat, and sizzling up with spices. Ghee also works really well in baking–like in these Crispy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and is great to brush over flatbreads for some extra flavour and moisture. Use Ghee anytime you want butteriness, but don’t want to use whole butter because of the risk of burning.
It’s truly the best of both worlds!
So I hope next time you find yourself with some old whipping cream, you’ll whip up this homemade ghee. It really is easy and so so delicious.
Oh, and if you’ve truly run out of pickles, I’m sorry. Hopefully, you have some random veggies in the crisper drawer and you can make my Quick-Pickled Vegetables!
- 500 grams heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Pour heavy whipping cream into a food processor (or a jar, if you’re in the mood to shake it for a long time).
- Process for about 5 minutes. First, it will become whipped cream, then it will start to look chunky, then it will separate out into butter and liquid.
- Squeeze out the liquid using a cheesecloth or a tea towel.
- Add salt to taste if desired.
- Now you have butter. Keep reading for ghee!
- Place the butter into a saucepan, and turn the heat to medium.
- Melt uncovered, and keep cooking it until there is NO MORE STEAM coming from the pot and the sound changes from a boiling sound to a crackly sound. This will probably take 15-20 minutes.
- Look for brown bits at the bottom of the pot. This indicates that it is done!
- Strain the ghee through a strainer lined with a coffee filter (or another cloth).
- Let it cool on the counter and you’re good to go.