Join me in my kitchen as we learn how to make homemade ghee infused with foraged spruce needles! This ghee is a great way to bring the scent of the winter forest into your kitchen - and it takes less than half an hour to make. It tastes the way that spruce trees smell, sort of like Christmas or a walk through the winter woods!
I like infused ghees and oils as a way to work with the evergreens in the winter because the slight bitter flavor of the winter needles doesn’t infuse into the fat. It’s like the difference between smelling a spruce and biting one. The smell is typically quite pleasant, while the straight winter needles can be harsh, bitter, or resinous. This ghee takes the best of the spruce needles and preserves it for your wild pantry!
This is a great use for freshly fallen branches or even leftover unsprayed Christmas trees - you can use any edible spruce. This recipe is inspired by Mallory O'Donnell @mallorylodonnell and adapted from Julie Sahni's recipe in Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking.
If you have pre-made plain ghee, you can infuse it with spruce needles by melting ¾ cup of ghee in a small pan, then simmering it with the spruce branches for 15 minutes over medium-low heat, and straining.
Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, by Julie Sahni, William Morrow and Company, 1985, pp. 75–76.
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