Vanilla Bean Ghee

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A few months ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed. Jessie from Sporks and Foons (I love the name) posted a picture of her delicious waffles. In her caption she mentioned that the waffles were topped with vanilla bean ghee.

Ghee has been around in my family for a very long time. My mom made it throughout my childhood as did her own mom, my grandmother and so on.  But vanilla bean ghee!? I’ve never heard of it until I scrolled across Jessie’s lovely feed.   I became obsessed. I think I may have dreamt about the taste. I couldn’t get my mind off it for days.

So later that week, I went to work figuring out how to make it. You may think making ghee is difficult but really it is one of the easiest things to make.  Plus, it is so much cheaper to make at home than store bought.

Ghee is basically butter that is skimmed of its milk solids as it melts and simmers in a pot. Once the milk solids are skimmed, the remaining solids will drop to the bottom of the pan. The golden liquid is strained, cooled and you are ready to eat your ghee.

If you’ve never made ghee, I’ve included instructions on how to make it with and without the vanilla infusion.

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To make vanilla bean ghee, I infused the vanilla bean seeds and pod into the ghee. Let it sit for about two hours.  Remove the pod and stir the vanilla bean seeds to fully incorporate since most of the seeds will drop to the bottom of the jar.

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skimmed milk solids and vanilla bean ghee

The result is lovely- beautiful golden clarified butter with a scent that is intoxicating, nutty and aromatic, sweetened with the scent of vanilla. The skimmed solids can be refrigerated and used separately on popcorn or as a finishing oil in Indian food.

My favorite part of this ghee are the tiny black vanilla bean seeds dispersed throughout this little jar of liquid gold.

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Use the ghee on anything sweet such as slathering on muffins. Top a generous coating on pancakes and waffles. Add a scoop to your morning oatmeal or use it instead of butter and bake it into a fruit crumble.

It may be an extra step to make this ghee but I promise you won’t regret it. It is so worth the taste.  It makes a great DIY gift also. Enjoy sweet friends.

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Vanilla Bean Ghee

Free from: nuts, sesame, gluten, egg and soy

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, organic, cubed *See Notes 
  • 1 vanilla bean pod; seeds scraped plus an extra 1/4 tsp vanilla bean seeds & pod

Equipment:

  • Strainer
  • slotted spoon to catch milk solids( with holes in it)
  • 1 bowl or jar to skim milk solids
  • 2 pots
  • 1 wide mouth, heat resistant, sterilized jar ( a mason jar works well)
  • canning funnel

*Notes: Use the best quality organic butter for this recipe.  You will taste the difference. I prefer to use unsalted butter for consistency and taste.  Salted butter releases more water which can produce more foam and it may result in a different consistency and/or cooking time.

Vanilla bean ghee is not meant to be sweet. It is meant to have a hint of vanilla flavor. The nutty combination mixed with vanilla makes a great topping for any sweet item.

To make the ghee:

  • Melt butter over low heat in a heavy bottom 3 1/2 quart heavy bottom pot. As the butter gently simmers, use a small spoon to skim the foam that rises to the surface of the pot. Set aside the solids in a small bowl or jar for later use.  Once cooled, store in the refrigerator.
  • Some of the foam, along with the remaining solids will drop to the bottom of the liquid. Do not walk away during the process. You will end up with a little more than half of what you started with, depending on how much water your butter contains.
  • After about 25-30 minutes, the butter will be golden and clear with most of the solids at the bottom of the pot. Turn off heat. Let cool for a bit.
  • Set a fine meshed strainer over another heat resistant pot, line the strainer with cheesecloth. Carefully, pour the ghee through the strainer, catching any milk solids into the strainer.  I strain the liquid twice to get a clear consistency.
  • Set a canning funnel onto a clean, sterilized jar and pour the ghee into it. I clean/sterilize my jar in the dishwasher. Use a silicone scraper to scrape remaining liquid into the jar.  Let cool. I refrigerate my ghee overnight to solidify. After it is solid, I leave it out at room temperature-* see below 

To make the vanilla bean infused ghee: 

  • Add vanilla bean seeds and pod into the strained ghee. Let cool in pot for 20 minutes. Transfer contents with pod to mason jar and let infuse for another 1-2 hours.  The longer it sits, the better the infusion. Take out pod.  Stir contents from the bottom up to ensure the vanilla bean seeds are evenly incorporated.  It will solidify as it cools.
  • Ghee can sit out on your counter indefinitely. I don’t refrigerate my ghee and neither does my mom although you can store in the refrigerator.  When ready to use,  let sit out at room temperature. The ghee should be spreadable.

14 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Ghee

  1. Love this idea! Like you, I make ghee all the time but I can already think of many instances where a vanilla infused version would be wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much for reading & commenting Annika. It really is such a great spread on so many sweet things but baked into fruit crumble or dessert would be delicious also. I’m sure you would love it 💛

    1. Hi Ruth! I never had heard of it either until recently. I love it so much- the hint of vanilla adds such a fragrant note to anything sweet. We especially love it on top of pancakes or waffles. If you make it, please let me know how you like it- Enjoy!

  2. This sounds amazing.

    Although, salted butter will not make for extra salty ghee. I’ve used salted for years after getting a Costco membership since it’s all they carry. It does make it foam more but won’t burn or taste weird.

    1. Hi Corinne! That’s so great to know that using salted butter works for you. Sometimes you have to use what you have on hand too! I should say I prefer using unsalted butter when making ghee- it’s how my mom made it growing up and maybe I am more sensitive to salt in my butter?!. And you are definitely right, salted butter lets out more water which produces more foam. I hope you try this vanilla -infused version- it really is a lovely combination. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing❤️

  3. I have just started to make ghee and have seen bloggers use the vanilla store bought ghee and had looked for it everywhere but cannot find anyone who stocks it here in Scotland so I am thrilled to have come across your website with how to make it. Cannot wait to try it but just one question, I think I’m a littl thick how many vanilla beans do you actually use? Is it 1 or 2?

    1. HI Naomi! I’m so happy to read that you just started making ghee- that’s so great! For this recipe, I used 1 vanilla bean pod & seeds plus a bit more( 1/4 of another pod) but you can use 1 pod to start. It really depends on your preference for vanilla. I wouldn’t use 2 pods as it might be too strong. I hope that helps. If you make it, I would love to know how it turns out for you. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook with your picture! Thanks so much ❤️

    1. Hi Carolyn! You can use the milk solids melted on top of popcorn or as a finishing oil for Indian food- it tastes delicious! You can store it in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Thanks for commenting ❤️

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