This yellow, intensely buttery homemade Movie Popcorn stays crisp FOR DAYS! Save a fortune at the movie theatre candy bar – just remember to take a giant bag so you can smuggle in loads of your own homemade Butter Popcorn….
Homemade Movie Popcorn (Butter Popcorn)
Today’s butter popcorn recipe is for everyone who’s blown a fortune at movie theatre candy bars.
In particular, for all fellow Aussies who remember enjoying cheap movie tickets on Tight-Arse-Tuesdays*, only to spend twice as much on popcorn and M&M’s.
I can’t help you on the M&M’s.
But I can help you with the butter popcorn!!!
This butter popcorn is intensely buttery – and it stays crisp for days!
* In Australia, movie tickets are (were??) discounted by most cinemas every Tuesday. We affectionally referred to it as Tight-Arse-Tuesdays. You’d be hard pressed to find an Aussie who isn’t familiar with this term!
How to make butter popcorn without it going soggy
The secret to stay-crispy popcorn that’s really butter is clarified butter, also known as ghee. This is just melted butter that’s simmered until the water in the butter evaporates – because butter is made up of fat, milk solids and water.
Once the water is evaporated, the melted butter is now pure butter fat. This has two benefits for butter popcorn:
Use to pop the popcorn – because it has a higher smoke point than normal butter. You CANNOT pop popcorn with normal butter, it just burns; and
Won’t make popcorn soggy when you pour the butter over it. In fact, it stays crispy for days and days and days….
Alternative to making clarified butter: Use store bought ghee. That’s what clarified butter is!
How to make clarified butter– the secret to “stay crispy” butter popcorn
This stuff is also known as liquid gold. The buttery smell is just insane!
And if that isn’t enough, another miracle is that clarified butter can be stored in the pantry for months and months. It’s liquid when warm and a soft butter consistency at room temperature (just microwave to melt).
You’ll find ghee is called for in almost every Indian recipe. Also, use it in place of melted butter in any recipe – clarified butter is just browned butter which is butter on steroids!
How to make Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn
So now you know the secret to stay-crispy butter popcorn, here’s how to make Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn that’s ultra buttery and will stray crisp for days! (I use the same technique in my Lightly Sweet ‘n Salty Popcorn, which adds a slightly sweet touch compared to this Butter Popcorn.)
Grind salt or blitz in food processor to make it a fine powder – it needs to be fine so it sticks to the popcorn
Melt clarified butter (ghee) in a pot – do not use normal butter
For optional movie theatre yellow popcorn colour – add tumeric and saffron powder (see section below for more info)
Add popcorn kernels, clamp lid on
30 seconds after popcorn starts popping, shake pot once
When popping stops, remove from pot and immediately transfer popcorn into large bowl
Douse liberally with more clarified butter and sprinkle with salt. Do not use normal butter, it will make it soggy!
How to make Movie Popcorn YELLOW!
For a truly authentic Movie Popcorn experience, this recipe includes an option to make your popcorn yellow!
After many many batches of popcorn, I’ve settled on a combination of imitation saffron and tumeric powder as the best way to add an authentic yellow colour to the popcorn. I dissolve it in a touch of water, then swirl it around in the butter before adding the kernels.
Caveat: You will get yellow fingers and tongue, just like when you indulge in Cheetos and Cheezels! There is also the slightest hum of warmth left on your tongue from the spices, barely noticeable. None of my friends noticed it – until I probed them repeatedly!!!
For fellow food nerds interested in how I landed on this: The spices have to be dissolved in a touch of water because they don’t dissolve or seep into fat. This was also the problem with normal yellow food colouring – it doesn’t dissolve in fat. I tried emulsifying it by shaking in a jar with the butter, grinding with salt and sprinkling. I also found that using both spices achieved the colour I was after – tumeric alone makes the popcorn a crazy neon yellow colour, while saffron comes out a cheddar orange colour.
Phew! Who knew I could write so much about popcorn??!!
I will tell you this though. Putting aside the yellow colouring, because that really is optional, Homemade Movie Popcorn is insanely addictive. It’s buttery in a way that just dousing with normal melted butter never will be. It’s lightly and evenly salted in a way that you can’t achieve just by using normal cooking or table salt.
And the best part?
IT STAYS CRISP FOR DAYS. As in – perfectly crispy.
Start thinking about how you’re going to smuggle this into the cinema. Because honestly, it’s almost criminal how expensive movie popcorn is to buy!!! – Nagi x
More Popcorn recipes
Watch how to make it
Homemade Movie Popcorn (Stay-crisp Butter Popcorn)
- 3 tbsp Popcorn Butter or ghee (Note 1)
- 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 – 3 tbsp Extra Popcorn Butter or ghee (Note 1)
- 1 tsp Popcorn Salt
- 1 tbsp salt
Popcorn Butter (clarified butter / ghee):
- 250 g / 2 sticks unsalted butter
Yellow Colouring (optional):
- 1 1/2 tsp warm tap water
- 1/4 tsp saffron powder , imitation (Note 2)
- 1/8 tsp tumeric powder
- Place 3 tbsp Popcorn Butter in a large 10L/10qt lightweight pot over medium heat (medium high if weak stove).
- When the butter is almost melted, pour in Yellow Colouring, if using. Quickly give the pan a shake to disperse the colouring across the base.
- Add kernels, shake quickly to spread across the base, then clamp lid on. The kernels will start popping after a minute or so.
- Shake briefly once after 30 seconds or so. When the popping stops, immediately pour popcorn into a large bowl.
- Melt Extra Popcorn Butter in microwave. Pour over popcorn, sprinkle over salt. Shake and toss well to disperse. Extra fantastic served warm but still irresistible at room temp.
- Place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a fine powder. OR use about 1/2 cup salt and blitz in food processor.
Popcorn Butter (video helpful):
- Place butter in a silver saucepan over medium low to medium heat.
- Leave to melt, it will start to sputter and spit, then foam.
- When you push the foam aside and you see brown bits on the bottom of the saucepan, remove from heat. Takes about 10 minutes.
- Line a strainer with 2 paper towels, then strain butter through – discard brown bits.
- Pour strained butter into a jar or container. It sets when it cools. Use in liquid or set form. Keeps in the pantry for months (it is now ghee / clarified butter).
Yellow Colouring (optional):
- Mix ingredients in a small bowl until spices dissolve.
Life of Dozer
Look what I found on my phone from the trip down south to Araluen last weekend! Just rolled out of bed, complete with ugg boots, trackies, bed hair, completely makeup-less, clutching Dozer.
Ooooh…. *light bulb goes off in head*…. I could be talking about any day…..