I was always a little suspicious of those little jars of clotted cream in the grocery store. Was it the same quality as what the British were spreading on their teatime scones along with a smear of jam? My experience was limited, but I wanted to try making my own. The recipes I found online were all similar. Cook heavy, pasteurized cream for a long time at a low constant temperature. OK, I was game. I waited till I knew I was meeting up with some girlfriends and started the process. I knew they’d give me their candid opinions.
When only one ingredient is involved, it better be top notch. Unfortunately, pasteurized cream can be rather elusive. Ultra-pasteurized has become the norm over the past couple decades. The latter version is handy as it’s nearly impossible to accidentally overwhip it, but plain old pasteurized cream is what you need for this recipe. I found mine at Whole Foods. Instead of trying to keep the liquid at 180º for an hour on the cooktop, I moved my pan of warmed cream into the oven. Luckily, my oven has a warm setting where I can set temps below 200º. I left mine in the oven for 6 hours, but with the small amount of cream I used, I think 4-5 hours would suffice. I had a pretty tough skin atop my clotted cream after the full cooking time.
Note: the flavor was sweet and lovely and almost identical to the clotted cream you’d find in Europe. The consistency, though, differed a bit. My friends went nuts for my vanilla bean scones topped with raspberry jam and this homemade clotted cream, even though the homemade version didn’t exactly replicate its British counterpart.
Scones—the Perfect Vehicle for Clotted Cream
If you’ve never had scones fresh from the oven, you must give them a try. Best on the day they’re made, they can also be frozen so you can enjoy them all week long. Like pie crust, it’s important not to overwork the dough, so you have tender results. And why not make some clotted cream while you’re at it.
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream, pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized which is the norm)
- Preheat oven to 180º.
- Place the cream in the top of a double boiler and heat to 180º, stirring occasionally.
- When the cream reaches 180º, remove the top pan from the double boiler, cover with a lid and place in the oven. Let cook for 4-6 hours.
- Let cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator and chill overnight.
- Remove the lid. The liquid will have a yellow thick layer on top. Carefully skim the thickened topping off of the top and into a container. Resist the urge to whisk the clotted cream as it will become grainy.
- Put into a covered container and use within 3- 4 days.