Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream

 The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

  • Total: 8 hrs 2 mins
  • Prep: 2 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Servings: 10 servings
  • Yields: 2 cups

Clotted cream may have an almost unappetizing name, but this delicious thick spread is a real treat. Famously from the southwest English counties of Cornwall and Devon, clotted cream is an essential ingredient for a traditional British afternoon tea. The cream gets its name from the crust that forms on the cream during the long, slow cooking. Once finished, the crust is removed from the surface resulting in a thick, butter-colored cream.

Finding clotted cream outside England can be difficult, but it is extremely easy to make at home. The cream will need to cook for at least 6 to 8 hours to form the crust and one of the best ways to do this is to use a slow cooker. If you don't have one, then a long, slow trip in the oven will work. To serve your clotted cream, all you'll need are some freshly baked scones.

The most famous way to serve the cream is in a Devon or Cornwall cream tea. These traditional teas involve light, fluffy, freshly baked scones with layers of butter, jam, and clotted cream. The order of the jam and cream varies from county to county, but no matter what order they are piled onto the scones, they taste the same.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream

Steps to Make It

Note: there are two great methods you can use to create this delicious cream: using the slow cooker or the oven. Both options are outlined below.

To Use a Slow Cooker:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Set the slow cooker to the low setting and add the cream.

  3. After one hour, check the temperature of the warmed cream with a thermometer. It should not exceed 180 F and should ideally be around 165 F. Once the temperature is correct, put the lid back on and let it cook with the heat on for 7 hours. Do not rush this process—the longer and slower it takes, the better the result.

  4. After 7 hours, check that a crust has formed on the surface, taking care not to disturb the cream in any way. When the crust has formed, it will be evident as it will have changed to a deeper, buttery yellow and be a little lumpy. Having a crust at this point will depend on the size and shape of your cooker; tall and narrow will take longer than a wide oval-shaped cooker.

  5. Once you have a crust, turn off the heat, lift the pot from the cooker, and leave it to cool completely on the counter.

  6. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (you can even leave it overnight) to set firmly. Do not touch or prod the cream at any point—you will break the crust.

  7. Once firmly set, use a large metal spoon to lift the crust and any cream stuck to it and place it into a bowl or jar. Do not stir the clotted cream, as you spoon it out to serve, the cream and crust will gently mix together and it is this mix of smooth cream and the tiny crusty pieces that make this cream so delicious.

  8. Once you have spooned the cream and crust into a jar or bowl, there will be a clear liquid left behind, this can be discarded.

  9. Keep the cream in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.

To Use the Oven:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 165 F or the lowest possible setting.

  3. Pour the cream into an ovenproof shallow dish.

  4. Place in the center of the oven and leave for a minimum of 10 hours before checking. If the crust isn't fully formed, cook until it does.

  5. When the crust has formed, it will be evident as it will have changed to a deeper, buttery yellow and be a little lumpy.

  6. Remove your shallow dish from the oven and leave it to cool completely on the counter.

  7. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (you can even leave it overnight) to set firmly. Do not touch or prod the cream at any point—you will break the crust.

  8. Once firmly set, use a large metal spoon to lift the crust and any cream stuck to it and place it into a bowl or jar. Do not stir the clotted cream, as you spoon it out to serve, the cream and crust will gently mix together and it is this mix of smooth cream and the tiny crusty pieces that make this cream so delicious.

  9. Discard the cleanish liquid that is left.

  10. Keep the cream in the refrigerator and use within 3 days.