One of my family’s favourite treats is having scones with clotted cream and jam with a mug of tea (called cream tea in the UK). I first experienced this delight at a café near Tintern Abbey when visiting my in-laws, and it has been a regular addition to our treat roster ever since. I have always purchased the little bottles of cream from a grocer, but recent shortages of all manner of things have impacted its availability. Luckily, we have been watching the BBC farm series “The Edwardian Farm” and Ruth gets a lesson on how to actually MAKE clotted cream. I have changed the procedure slightly as modern ovens allow us to keep a constant temperature overnight.
I used 3 cups of the the carton of whipping cream. You could use more or less, as long as there is about an inch or inch and a half in a wide baking dish. This is the only ingredient – the rest is down to heat, cold and time.
Preheat your oven to 170-175F. This is as low as my oven will go. If you use a higher heat the surface of the cream will brown, which you do not want. Leave the cream, uncovered, overnight, about 12 hours.
When you remove it from the oven, it will have a yellow skin on the top. Not to worry, this will mix in perfectly later on. Let it cool to room temperature and then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 7 or 8 hours to allow it to set up.
Remove from the fridge and skim the thick layer of clotted cream from the thinner whey layer below. Stir the thick cream to reincorporate the skin layer. If it is too thick, add a bit of the thin liquid to improve its spreading consistency to smooth and silky.
The leftover whey makes good milk for scones or pancakes. The clotted cream will last a couple weeks in theory. Ours has always been consumed before it makes it past the weekend.
For those wanting more info on clotted cream, here is a good explanation: