Clotted cream

January 2022

The texture of clotted cream is really unlike any other dairy product I’m aware of. It’s smooth, incredibly thick, full of big, curd-like blobs and just a little gooey. “Mud-like” is the term I usually use, and it’s apt.For a one-time Devon resident like myself, the realization that I had the resources available to make my own clotted cream caused waves of both nostalgia and lust — butterfat lust — to wash over me. I had to rush out immediately and try it. If you have small, local dairy cream available to you (un-homogenized and especially un-stabilized) this recipe will be a snap. If not you probably won’t get quite the same result, but to my way of seeing things that’s no reason not to try. The potential rewards are simply too great.Start by setting your oven at about 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything under 200 will do. Then pour about a quart of heavy cream into a small dish or pot. That there are already some clots of butterfat here indicates that this is definitely the sort of cream I want.Cover that with aluminum foil (or a lid in the case of a pot) and place it in the oven for 10-12 hours.What’s going to happen in that time? Well, the steady low heat of the oven is going to encourage all the tiny fat globules in the cream to rise. As they do they’ll bunch up — though not combine with one another — to make a huge, thick mass.You can see what that mass looks like when I take it out. Much of the fat (and a little butter, there) has risen to the top. However it’s still liquid. Turning this into clotted cream proper means cooling it. So into the refrigerator it goes.What will happen in there? A couple things. The chill will cause the lipid molecules in the butterfat globules to form crystals. The whole mass will get firmer. That’s how it works in Devon and Cornwall at least. Will the same thing happen for me here in Kentucky?Yup.So I just skim off the big, firm clots and keep them in a bowl until I need them. The remainder I’ll strain and use as half-and-half in, well, whatever. Store this for a week or more tightly covered to prevent odors or off flavors from getting in.You’ll want to serve this chilled. Spread it on scones and consume with abandon. Large quantities are suitable for bathing in.
Finding heavy whipping cream that isn't ultra-pasteurized. Clotting will work better with an unpasteurized or pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream. I didn't try making the recipe with an ultra-pasteurized cream so I can't say for sure whether or not it would work, but I suspect it wouldn't work well. For more information on ultra-pasteurization, check out the FAQ from the New England Cheese Making Society (I know we aren't making cheese here, but the information found there is very helpful in explaining the problem with ultra-pasteurization). It is also best to look for heavy whipping cream with as high a fat content as you can find. I used a local brand, Pevely, that had 40% fat.Waiting. The clotted cream was in my oven for so long that it shut itself off. This has never happened before, and I learned from the experience that our oven shuts off automatically at twelve hours.Clotted Cream RecipeI got the recipe for clotted cream from Sustainable Table. As I said above, there isn't much to it. There is only one ingredient: heavy whipping cream. Use as much as you would like. I used two pints (4 cups) - be sure to see my notes above about about not using ultra-pasteurized cream. The clotted cream can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Use it to top scones, pancakes, toast, or in my case, high tea cupcakes (post coming soon).Pour the cream into a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot. The cream should come up the side of the pot somewhere between one and three inches.Cover the pot and put it in the oven on 180 F.Leave the covered pot in the oven for at least 8 hours. My four cups took 12 hours (until my oven automatically turned off). You'll know it's done because there will be a thick yellowish skin above the cream, as shown above. That skin is the clotted cream.Let the pot cool at room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator for another 8 hours.Remove the clotted cream from the top of the pot. The cream that is underneath it can still be used for baking.You might also like:Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup: Enter Your Ice Cream Cupcakes ...Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup ResultsTime to Vote for Your Favorite Ice Cream CupcakeSour Cream FrostingLinkWithinRead more: