I finally got this one right! It took 4 tries, spread out over the course of a year to get it right, but apparently, it CAN be done!
If you’re wondering what clotted cream is, you are seriously missing out. It is a heavenly milky, buttery spread for scones. I don’t even really know how to describe it. It’s silkier than butter, and slightly sweet, but not from added sugar. It also has a lightly caramelized flavor because of the way it is cooked. Some people liken it to whipped cream, but it’s not even at all the same thing. Whipped cream is artificially sweetened, and has a very light airy texture. Clotted cream is smooth, creamy, and perfect.
The problem is, it’s seriously expensive! I’ve found it at grocery stores, both by the name of clotted cream, and Devonshire double cream. If you search online, you’ll find 6 oz. jars for sale for between $6 and $9. That’s crazy to me!
So I thought, there must be a way to make this at home.
Turns out there is. You cook heavy cream at a low-ish temperature for a long time until a thick, creamy, buttery crust forms, and then you chill it. Easy right?
Nope! At least not for me. I tried 3 different types of recipes. One for in the oven, one for the crockpot, and one for on the stovetop. All three failed for various reasons. Either the cream didn’t cook for long enough, or it was too thin a layer of cream to form the proper crust, or something else went wrong that I’m not even aware of.
But FINALLY, I have gotten this recipe right! And it is super delicious. Learn from my mistakes and cook up some awesome clotted cream for your next tea party.
Ultimately, I used a combination of this recipe:
and suggestions from this video:
I think the key to being successful is having enough of a depth to surface area ratio and cooking it long enough at the right temperature. This allows some of the moisture to evaporate and a thick skin to form. Once the liquid cools completely (like 12-24 hours in the fridge), there will be a nice thick crust of clotted cream perfect for putting on scones.
Ultimately, here’s what I did:
Ingredients: 1 qt. heavy cream (pasteurized but not ultra-pasteurized*)
- Pour heavy cream into a 5 quart enameled dutch oven.
- Bake uncovered in oven preheated to 180ºF for 12 hours.
- Carefully remove, being careful not to jostle the cream too much.
- Let cool on counter for about an hour
- Cover**, put in refrigerator for about 12 hours. (I waited 24 hours, but checked it after 12, and could have scooped it then.)
- Scoop out the delicious, creamy top and put it in a glass bowl or into jars.
- Mix it up with a butter knife and enjoy on scones!
This will keep in a refrigerator for a few days.
*finding cream that is not ultra-pasteurized is seriously a pain. The only places I’ve been able to find it are Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
**Anytime water might condense that would drip onto the top of something, I cover with two layers: first a paper towel, and then plastic wrap or the lid.
Next time I try this, I’ll make only a pint in a smaller earthenware container. It would be nice to make the right amount for my two-person household!