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Homemade Ghee Recipe

If you’re looking for a low-lactose butter alternative, try making some homemade ghee to use for baking, sautéing, flavoring, and more.

November/December 2018

  • Pour your newly made ghee from the pot, through a strainer, and into a tightly sealed jar for storing.
    Photo by Adobe/irinagrigorii

Whether a brilliant amber color at room temperature or a soft, sunlit yellow at storage temperature, ghee brings beauty to pantry and larder alike.


  • 1 quart organic cream
  • Butter churn or large, tightly sealed canning jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Finely meshed sieve
  • Saucepan
  • 2-1/2 pint jars, cleaned and sterilized


  1. Churn cream as you would to make butter. Or, shake cream in a tightly sealed canning jar, passing it around the family until the butter “breaks” (about 12 minutes). Note: You can skip to Step 3 by using pre-existing, organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter, if you prefer to forgo the churn.
  2. Pour the contents of your jar through a folded cheesecloth resting in your sieve, catching the liquid in a clean jar or bowl. You’ll use the solid “butter” within the cheesecloth to make ghee, while the liquid buttermilk can be saved and used to make cakes or biscuits.
  3. Place your butter in a small saucepan, and cook slowly over medium heat. Your butter will quickly melt. Allow it to reach a measured and moderate simmer.
  4. The simmering will cause the separation of the milk solids from the fat. The solids will fall to the bottom of the saucepan, and foam will rise to the top. Skim off the foam every few minutes until there isn’t any left.
  5. The milk solids will caramelize at the bottom of the pan. You’ll know the ghee is done when the liquid turns a dark amber color, the foam has ceased, and the surface is covered in small simmering bubbles.
  6. Pack your hot ghee into prepared and sanitized jars, using your sieve to catch any stray milk solids. Store in a dark and cool place.

Note: The yield is dependent entirely on the provenance of the cream used. The higher the butterfat content, the greater your yield.

More about Ghee, India’s golden cooking fat, and how to use it:

Kate MacLean is a writer, farmer, and mother in the hills of central Vermont. She’s currently developing a children’s book with her sister about the farm on which they both live, and the silly animals that keep them working from dawn ‘til dusk.

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