Today (24th June) is National Cream Tea Day and I really feel that I cannot let it go past without acknowledgement. For those who don’t know, a traditional Cornish cream tea consists of a plain scone split and spread generously with strawberry jam and topped with a great dollop of clotted cream. This should be served with a proper cup of tea.
I have shared my favourite scone recipe before (you can find it here) – well, I say “my” recipe but it is actually my mum’s recipe but it is my favourite!
What I have never done before is make my own clotted cream. In fairness I live in Cornwall and there is no shortage of really good clotted cream available from local dairies. In fact Rodda’s Cream is now easily available all over the UK but if you live outside the country you might find it harder to track down.
Clotted cream is a thick, rich, spoonable cream topped with a yellow crust or “clot” and it is artery hardeningly wonderful stuff. I always assumed that clotted cream might be quite complicated to make so I started to do a bit of research. And then I laughed. This stuff makes itself!
The only ingredient is double cream (heavy cream if you are American) and it just needs long slow cooking to evaporate some of the water content and thicken up the cream. During this process a yellow “clot” forms on the top. And that’s it. No, really, that’s all there is to it.
In my case I put it in the warming oven of my Rayburn and went to bed. When I got up this morning I had clotted cream. You really can make this in your sleep!!
As with everything the better the ingredients the better the end product. Traditionally clotted cream would have been made using unpasteurised cream but this is not the easiest thing to get hold of and not everyone would like it anyway. In this instance I decided to experiment with simple, supermarket own brand, pasteurised cream and it worked fine.
The only problem now is that I have about a pint and a half of clotted cream in the fridge – I’d better bake some scones.
Pre-heat the oven to 80°C / 180°F / lowest setting possible for gas.
Pour the cream into a shallow, oven-proof dish until it is between 1″ and 3″ deep. I used a 12″ x 8″ rectangular pyrex dish with about one and a half pints of cream but you can use a smaller dish and less cream.
Put the cream into the oven for between 8 and 12 hours until it is thickened with a yellow crust on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool then place in the fridge for a few hours where it will thicken even more.
Spread it on a scone and eat it.