Homemade clotted cream, served alongside scones and jam, really elevates a traditional High Tea to "Cream Tea" status and is easy to make!
Quintessentially British is Clotted Cream
Clotted cream is something I think of that is so part of the High Tea tradition, so British, that I always assume it will come with scones.
You know, as in “here are your scones with clotted cream and jam.” It just rolls off the tongue.
In the US clotted cream is quite expensive, if you can find it at all.
Many times through the years of going to High Tea for my daughters’ birthdays, there was no clotted cream. Mostly we were served whipped cream, or sometimes butter. How disappointing!
So I got to thinking...how hard can it be to make homemade clotted cream? Hmmm...
Just be patient
Turns out, not that hard at all! In fact, it’s surprisingly easy…little actual hands on work is needed, just time. Who knew?
Well, Stephanie Stiavetti, who writes the Fearless Fresh blog, knew. She shared not just one, but several methods for making homemade clotted cream. I chose the oven method, but it can also be made on the stove top or in a slow cooker.
I would have liked to use my slow cooker, but I couldn’t trust that the LOW setting wasn’t too hot (I have an old crockpot, well loved).
Clotted cream controversy?
Stephanie states that "Clotted Cream, also known as Devonshire cream, is a part of the traditional English “cream tea,” during which the cream is served alongside scones, jam, and tea".
One of the commenters on Stephanie’s blog post said, “Just an FYI…Clotted Cream is NOT also known as Devonshire Cream. Two totally different types of cream. Devonshire Cream is a thick, double cream. Clotted Cream is very thick, like slightly softened butter.”
Another said, “High tea is blue collar workers eating meat pies standing at high counters or tables. The tea with charming pastries and clotted cream is low tea, cream tea, or afternoon tea.”
Who knew this topic would be so controversial? Let's just agree that clotted cream (especially with scones and lemon curd) is wonderful and move on then, ok?
How to make clotted cream
I used two pints of Heavy Cream (one from Trader Joes, the other from Whole Foods…don’t ask). The recipe said to use a wide, non-reactive pan so that the depth of the liquid was two inches. Using my math skills (yay, math!) and measuring the pans I had available to me, I chose a 9-inch square non-stick baking pan.
I looked up whether non-stick meant non-reactive, and the Internet said yes (thanks, Internet!).
I set my oven to 180°F, put the pan in at 8pm, and took it out at 8am the next morning. After letting the pan cool to room temperature, I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for 24 hrs. Then I skimmed the now-hardened cream into a bowl.
Thick, rich, wonderful
The resulting clotted cream was delicious, like sweet butter, with a creamy texture that could hold a spoon upright.
The yellow crust that formed after the clotted cream came out of the oven was said to be prized in the UK (according to another of Stephanie’s commenters), so I didn’t bother to stir it in.
I used the leftover whey to make chocolate chip cream scones (the best kind IMHO). The result…a rich and luxurious homemade clotted cream to serve alongside a cream scone and lemon curd. Perfect…just add tea!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
British-inspired recipes for tea
Homemade Clotted Cream
- slotted spoon
- 4 cups heavy cream, NOT ultra-pasteurized
- Preheat your oven to 180°F, usually the lowest temperature an oven can go.
- Pour heavy cream into a 9- x 9-inch baking pan so it's about 2-inches deep. Place in the oven for 12 hours or overnight. Leave the cream alone during that time (no stirring).
- Carefully take the pan out of the oven without agitating the cream. You don't want it to mix back into the liquid layer underneath. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least another 12 hours or overnight.
- Using a slotted spoon, gently skim the thick layer of the cream that's formed on top of the liquid layer. Use the liquid whey in breads or biscuits.
- Gently stir the clotted cream to create a smooth, creamy texture and place is a tightly sealed container like a mason jar.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For best flavor, bring to room temperature before serving with your favorite scones. Enjoy!