Sunday, February 22, 2009

Making Clotted Cream in California

picture photograph image ALT 2008 copyright of sam breach http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/
As any Brit who has tried to live in the USA will tell you, finding cream of the same range and quality as that found in the UK isn't possible. If you have only tried clotted cream, pasteurised, from a jar, then you haven't yet had the full experience of how insanely good this thick, yellow, butter-nibble-crusted epitome of dairy fat can be.

In the absence of Cornwall, a lover of traditional cream teas might be wont to experiment with ways of trying to recreate clotted cream and after many failed attempts I came up with a technique that won't replace the real thing, but will win over the pretender that you can otherwise only pick up off a shelf.

Don't start with milk or your yield will be too small. Start with cream. Raw, upasteurised cream gives the best results. I can't give you a recommendation for raw cream in your area but in California Claravale's raw cream is the best contender for the job that I have found. Organic Pastures version works too. You can even make an ok version with pasteurised cream (I tried Straus Organic), but raw is definitely the best thing to use.

Set aside several hours, this is a long project. Pour a pint of cream into your largest, non reactive, clean frying-pan. I use a large All-Clad fry pan, you need the largest surface area you can get. Put over your lowest heat setting, I use 'warm' on my ancient electric stove. If you use gas, I am guessing you will need a diffuser. After about an hour, a crust will have formed on the surface. Scrape it off with a non-slotted spoon into a bowl, keeping the crust facing upwards. Repeat 3 or 4 times until most of the cream has thickened and been scraped into the bowl. Refrigerate over night. The next morning you should have a thick, gloopy, knobbly-surfaced cream which you can spread onto a freshly baked scone.

Or why not just save some time and spread it directly onto your thighs?




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© 2009 Sam Breach
Making Clotted Cream in California

37 Comments:

  • At 22/2/09 11:01, Anonymous T Shane said…

    If I make this, I'll have to give up hollandaise :(

     
  • At 22/2/09 12:16, Anonymous Angry Brit said…

    Dear God! You have discovered the Holy Grail! I must try this. It never would have occurred to try making clotted cream at home.

     
  • At 22/2/09 12:36, Blogger Beccy said…

    As you know I'm not a clotted cream fan but I'm glad you've got a recipe to enjoy.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all enjoy a cream tea in Cornwall!

     
  • At 22/2/09 12:45, Anonymous Becks said…

    You're baaaaaack! We missed you. Also, OMG, have I ever missed *real* clotted cream since I came back from living in England (also, I miss the cheese. Why can't you get cheese like that here??)

     
  • At 22/2/09 15:15, Blogger Zoomie said…

    I've been experimenting this week with making lemon quark so I'm in the right mood to try this, too! Thanks!

     
  • At 22/2/09 22:28, Blogger Anna Haight said…

    This looks good, and simple to make, however looong it takes.

     
  • At 22/2/09 22:48, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Ha ha. I never expected it to be like this. Of course, I will have to try it.

     
  • At 22/2/09 23:49, Anonymous Jane said…

    That looks totally yummy.

     
  • At 23/2/09 08:34, Blogger ChrisB said…

    This looks pretty good Sam. I could just eat a scone especially as Beccy made some lovely raspberry jam.

     
  • At 23/2/09 08:44, Blogger Laura [What I Like] said…

    Oh excellent...now all I need is some delicious strawberry jam and tiny scones and I'm good to go!

     
  • At 23/2/09 12:14, Blogger Samantha said…

    Thanks soo much. I've been experimenting, but nothing comes close (I'm from Devon, so there's no fooling me even if the Brit shop down the road tries). The trick must be jersey cows that Claravale uses. Makes sense if I think about it!

     
  • At 23/2/09 13:38, Anonymous Paula Maack said…

    It's nice to see a real food post again, Sam!

    Thank you for the fantastic idea! I look forward to spreading it on my thighs - lol!

    By the way... Congratulations on your recent accolade!! A top spot in the London Times - World's 50 Best Food Blogs is not a bad nod, at all! I hope this means we'll be seeing more of you. :)

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

     
  • At 23/2/09 16:59, Anonymous Melissa said…

    oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this. I just returned from a month long journey back to England, and I cannot tell you how much I miss the cheese, clotted cream, and even the milk!

    Thanks so much...

    PS...I just did a series of posts on my blog about English cheese and the politics of pasteurization, just in case you are interested :)

    http://www.mundaneethnography.com/2009/02/cheese-and-little-guys-neals-yard-dairy.html

    and

    http://www.mundaneethnography.com/2009/02/cheese-epiphanies-raw-milk-and-politics.html

     
  • At 23/2/09 18:31, Anonymous cooking school confidential said…

    Of all the foods the British do best, tea has got to be top of the list. And of all the wonderful tea foods, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream has got to be the most wonderful.

    Now you have me craving.

    Cheers!

     
  • At 23/2/09 20:37, Anonymous Carolyn Jung said…

    Hah! I bet it WOULD be good as a moisturizer, too. Heck, who needs pricey La Mer cream, when you can spread double-duty clotted cream on your crumpets and on yourself!

     
  • At 24/2/09 14:20, Blogger Barbara said…

    Not sure I have the energy to make the cream but I'm sure craving scones right now.

     
  • At 24/2/09 15:47, Blogger chez aurora said…

    oh, thank you, thank you, thank you ... finally a way to have good clotted cream on scones here in the States.

     
  • At 24/2/09 16:15, Blogger MODman said…

    O.K. you have clotted cream for your toast but do you have bangers, eggs, tomatoes and baked beans to go with it?

     
  • At 25/2/09 03:53, Anonymous Sunita Top Foodie said…

    Heavens! I thought I was the last of the dying breed of clotted cream lovers. Thanks for the great tip...yes it did turn out thick, gloopy and knobbly - just as you said and just how i love it!

     
  • At 25/2/09 10:31, Blogger Debbie said…

    My husband would agree with you. He's been on the look-out for good clotted cream for years. He's a Brit living here in Canada.

     
  • At 26/2/09 11:29, Anonymous Cherie said…

    I have a gas stove, do you think I could do this over a double boiler?

     
  • At 26/2/09 11:40, Blogger Sam said…

    that's an interesting idea - except you are perhaps not going to get a large enough surface area? It might take a lot longer... You'd need to experiment

     
  • At 26/2/09 11:57, Blogger nicole said…

    OH WOW! I will have to try this, seriously. Thanks for posting it.

    (and I love that last line. How true! But also: how delicious :) )

     
  • At 27/2/09 18:39, Anonymous Deelish Dish said…

    My boyfriend is from southwest Scotland and is ALWAYS telling me how much better the meat and cream is over there. I've been many times and agree but man, he just won't let it go. I am so grateful for your recommendations and am going to try this for his highness soon :)

     
  • At 4/3/09 08:01, Anonymous A Girl Has To Eat said…

    That clotted cream looks delicious. Its making me hungry and I've just had some ice cream. :-)

     
  • At 9/3/09 20:23, Anonymous Mockney Rebel said…

    I love your phrasing: "tried to live in the USA"! Not quite living here, but trying to, perhaps unsuccessfully! As a Brit living in the Bay Area I know how that feels!

     
  • At 19/3/09 15:21, Blogger NuKiwi said…

    I have heard about clotted cream but I have yet to try it. I am not sure where to get my hands on it here in New Zealand, but it MUST be available somewhere.

    Anyway, having morning tea with my neighbour on Wedmornings, so I must give this a try and see what she and her friends think.

    Cheers.

     
  • At 30/3/09 17:31, Anonymous Gail said…

    I am SO excited. Having spent 3 weeks in Cornwall, this American fell in LOVE with clotted cream and have been raving to my husband about it! I went right out to the dairy and got fresh milk/cream and will be making this tomorrow. OH THANK YOU!!!! Gail from Minnesota

     
  • At 31/3/09 08:42, Blogger Ann said…

    Man, I haven't had a real cream tea since summers in England...a long time ago. Last cream tea at Derry & Tom's in 1970-something and I still dream about it. Many, many cream teas in Cornwall where I passed on the tiny little cakes because i was so in love with the scones, clotted cream and strawberries. Thanks for this!!!!!

     
  • At 8/4/09 14:50, Blogger Anne said…

    I MUST try this as soon as humanly possible. I was forever spoiled by British dairy when I went in '95 and again in '02. Clotted cream and yogurt (Bio Pot especially) were my favorites.

    I'm sure even with the most farm-fresh, organic, as-pure-as-it's-possible-to-get-stateside cream it still won't be the same, but it;s worth a shot.

     
  • At 15/4/09 15:57, Anonymous Pat said…

    I lived in Devon for a few years and cream teas were part of my weekly ritual. Terrible isn't it? I had the thighs to show for it but it was all worth it! Thanks for the clotted cream how-to, will definitely try it out!

     
  • At 22/4/09 14:31, Blogger Caroline said…

    lovely!! I borrowed your clotted cream photo for my family blog with full props to you...hope that's okay. As a displaced Brit every summer I dream of clotted cream..my memories of cream teas come from Croyde in North Devon...ahhh...

     
  • At 8/6/09 16:50, Anonymous Dippylulu said…

    I attempted to make this. Lovely raw untouched jersey cream from the local farm. Used my large all clad fryer. Big FAIL. Any idea why?
    Desperate Brit stranded in VT.

     
  • At 11/6/09 12:59, Blogger Zom! said…

    Amen & thank goodness. The last time a novel beckoned me into the land of scones and clotted cream I gained five lbs in one week. Looks like I've got another 5lbs to lose in the very foreseeable future.

     
  • At 29/8/09 03:27, Anonymous Rumela said…

    My grandfather is a huge fan of clotted cream and I always try to make it for him whenever we see my parents. He has yet to be fully blown away by any of the recipes i've tried. Simplicity is key, and yours looks perfect! Can't wait to try it. thank you for shearing your post.

     
  • At 20/12/09 22:42, Blogger k.maguire said…

    This recipe is very similar to how I've made clotted cream, to great success. I use unpasteurized milk, and do not care about low yield. This recipe seems to be more Cornish than Devonian, would that be correct?

     
  • At 7/1/10 20:19, Blogger Stephaniemags said…

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I finally have a gloopy and fresh clotted cream instead of that awful jarred stuff.

    I used pasteurized heavy whipping cream, and I used my gas stove. I kept it pretty low, and it seemed to work just fine. I just scraped off the thin crusted layer every 45 minutes or so, then waited for the next crust to form. I piled the stuff into a bowl as I went, and once I'd scraped off most of the cream, I gave the crusts a good stir and left the bowl in the fridge. A few hours later? Beautiful clotted cream.

    The one problem is that the texture is quite grainy, but once it's on scones you don't even notice. Still, any advice for next time?

     

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