Summary: Here’s a homemade clotted cream recipe so you can serve your tea and scones English-style.
Clotted does not sound like an appealing word. But if you’re like me and you’re an adult who like the occasional
tea party high tea, clotted cream will add some authenticity. I used to go to an “English Style” tea house, but it wasn’t until I actually went to English that I realized they were missing something. Every tea place I encountered there served this stuff.
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Alone, it’s not that tasty. It’s not like ice cream, though the picture looks a bit like it. Sugar is not added, and it’s not frozen. But serve it up with some scones and lemon curd or jam and…yum!
Clotted cream is also called Devon cream or Cornish cream and is typically made by heating the heavy cream in a steam or hot water bath and letting it slowly cool.
But we’re not going to do that here. We’re going to use our home oven to make this fatty taste of heaven. Be aware that, though homemade clotted cream is easy to make and does not take much time “hands-on,” it DOES take a significant amount of time from start to finish. It’s not something you can just whip up before your high tea.
Questions about making homemade clotted cream:
I live in the Pacific Northwest United States and I’ve never seen fresh clotted cream sold on shelves here. I have seen crème fraîche but, while that’s delicious, it’s a little different in flavor and texture than clotted cream. You can buy clotted cream in jars. While I haven’t found them on the shelves at my higher-end grocery (that does happen to sell lemon curd,) I’ve found them in a local English specialty shop and on Amazon.
Are these jars of clotted cream OK? Sure, if you don’t want to take the time to make the stuff fresh, they’ll do — but, in my opinion, the homemade fresh stuff better matches the clotted cream I experienced at some of the better tea places I visited in England.
About five days or so in the refrigerator.
Hey, I’m experimenting with that question right now and will have an answer very soon!
So, let’s go…
Here’s the recipe:
- Wide baking pan (I use a 13" x 9" Pyrex pan for this)
- Blender (recommended)
- Rubber Spatula
- 4 cups heavy cream NOT ultra-pasteurized
- Pour the heavy cream into the pan. Having a wide flat pan is important here as you want the cream spread out over a large surface area. For this, I use my old standby 13" x 9" (or so) Pyrex pan.
- Set your oven to a low temperature. The lowest my oven goes is 170 degrees F, so that's where I set it.
- Leave your cream in the oven for about 12 hours. Yes…12 hours. I either start this late at night and take it out the next day or start it early in the morning.
- After 12 hours, take it out of the oven. Your cream will look something like the photo shown here. I worried about this the first time I made it — wasn't it supposed to look thick and creamy and not like crème brûlée? Don't worry about this…I'll get to what I did to fix it later.
- Put your pan in the refrigerator and chill it until it's cold.
- Remove it from the refrigerator. You'll find that your cream has lots of liquid under the top "crust." Drain this off by pulling back one end with your spatula and draining the liquid into a container (you might use the liquid later.) The photo here shows how mine looks (and note that if you pull this much back you might have more trouble draining it without chunks falling out into the liquid.)
- So, what to do with this stuff that looks nothing like the clotted cream I had in England? I put it in the blender. This stuff is thick so it helps to have a heavy-duty blender like a Vitamix. Start it on low speed, and move up to higher speed and add a little bit of the reserve liquid if it's too thick. Voilà! Clotted cream.
- Put your clotted cream in a container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for about five days. Serve it up with some scones and jam or lemon curd (another delicious thing with a name that sounds a bit off.) Enjoy!
These are local brands; you’ll have your own in your own area. But note that one clearly says VAT Pasteurized. This is OK. If you look at the cream on your grocery shelves, you’ll see some clearly state that they are “ultra pasteurized.” These are the ones you want to avoid.