Cook the Book: Clotted Cream

"The flavor falls somewhere in between butter and crème fraiche."

[Flickr: Kai Hendry]

Making clotted cream at home is one of the forgotten skills that Darina Allen has happily resurrected in her newly released Forgotten Skills of Cooking.

While buttery rich clotted cream remains a staple of many Irish and British diets, clotting your own cream has fallen out of favor since it requires a pretty significant time commitment and seeking out unpasteurized or gently pasteurized cream. But by all means, don't let these deterrents stop you from trying this recipe out for yourself, one spoonful of homemade clotted cream and you'll see that it's worth a bit of effort.

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[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

While the cream heats, it forms a crusty yellow surface and underneath the cream thickens into clots. After the heating, the crust is removed and the cream is poured into jars and refrigerated.

As it cools the cream separates into two layers: the creamy top, perfect for spreading on scones (or anything else for that matter) and a thinner cream which Allen says keeps for several weeks and can be used in any recipe that calls for heavy cream. The flavor falls somewhere in between butter and crème fraiche but really varies with the quality of cream that you choose to start with so milk from your local farmers' market would be a good bet.

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Cook the Book: Clotted Cream

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About This Recipe

Yield:1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 5 cups heavy cream

Procedures

  1. 1

    Gently heat the cream in a heavy saute pan on the lowest heat for 5 to 6 hours, by which time it will have a rich, deep-yellow, wrinkled crust (use a diffuser mat if necessary). The cream must not boil or simmer.

  2. 2

    Let the cream cool overnight, but preferably not in a fridge (I leave it in a cold pantry).

  3. 3

    Next day, lift off the crust, or "clout" as my Cornish son-in-law calls it. Spoon the cream into sterilized glass jars, cover, and store in the fridge. The clotted cream in on top; thick cream left over when the clotted cream is removed can be used as heavy cream and keeps for ages—several weeks at least.

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