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 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.

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Vanilla Bean Ghee

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

Makes about 1- 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, organic, cubed.
  • 1 vanilla bean pod

Equipment:

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

To make ghee:

  • Melt butter over low heat in a heavy bottom 3 1/2 quart heavy bottom pot and bring  to a gentle simmer.  Use a small spoon to skim foam periodically as it rises to surface of pot.  Set aside solids in a small bowl or jar for later use.  Once cooled, store in refrigerator.
  • The remaining foam, along with solids will drop to bottom of pot. Do not walk away. 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, butter will be golden and clear with most of solids at bottom of pot. Turn off heat. Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Set a canning funnel over another heat resistant jar. If you don’t have a canning funnel that’s ok just be careful when you pour. ( I use a clean, sterilized mason jar). On top of canning funnel, use a fine meshed strainer and carefully, pour ghee through strainer into jar; milk solids will catch into strainer.  You can strain ghee twice to get a clear consistency. Milk solids will continue to drop to bottom- that is ok!
  • Let cool without lid on. I refrigerate overnight to solidify. After it becomes solid, leave it out at room temperature-* see below 

To make vanilla bean infused ghee: 

  • Follow above. Add vanilla bean seeds and pod into ghee after turning off heat. Let cool for twenty minutes in pot. 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 bottom up to ensure vanilla bean seeds are evenly incorporated.  It will solidify as it cools. Transfer to refrigerator and leave out on counter once cool.

*Notes:

  • Increasing quantity of ghee will not affect consistency. I usually make 1 1/2 pounds about 6 sticks at one time to yield 2-2 1/2 cups.
  • Use best quality organic butter. I prefer to use unsalted butter for consistency and taste.  I’ve read that salted butter releases more water which may alter consistency 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.
  • Ghee can sit out on your counter indefinitely. I don’t refrigerate my ghee and neither does my mom although you can store in refrigerator.  When ready to use,  let sit out at room temperature. 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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