Updated 20 April 2019.
There is a style of tea time very popular in the UK, especially Devon and Cornwall, known as the “cream tea.” It features scones, jam, and something that can be described as a gift from the angels: clotted cream. Sadly, since my humans and I don’t live there, we have a bit of difficulty getting some of the real clotted cream at any of the food-selling type stores here, and my humans don’t shop online. The other day, a kind human on Twitter told us of a recipe for an alternative. You clotted cream purists might cringe, but those of us desperate for anything even close to the real deal are rejoicing. TOOOT!
What Is Clotted Cream
Clotted cream is a thick, creamy, slightly sweet, white spread with the consistency of very softened cream cheese. It is also called “Devonshire cream” or “Cornish cream,” depending if you are in Devon or Cornwall. Making clotted cream was a way to separate the fat from milk to make butter and began in Devon. The folks in Cornwall began using this “clotted cream” on its own.
One thing clotted cream is not is whipped cream. Both start with heavy cream, but there the similarity ends. One difference is the texture, with the whipped cream being light and fluffy, while the clotted cream is rich and thick. Another difference is that the whipped cream often has sweetener and vanilla added to it.
Clotted cream is also not butter, which is made by churning cream (remember those old style butter churns that your grandmother or great-grandmother probably used?). For clotted cream, you heat milk cream gently for about 12 hours until the fat comes to the top and clots together, and then you cool this for about eight hours. And thus the cream with which you start is the most important part of this product. Some say that the cream can only come from the milk from certain cows who are pasture fed only. Plus the cream cannot be ultra-pasteurized.
A Very Passable Substitute
Desperate humans have tried various substitutions for real clotted cream. None seem to live up to that wonderful flavor.
Thankfully, there is a great recipe that seems to give you at least some of the taste quality, although the texture is not the same. Our thanks to Lauren LaPorte on Twitter for this link.
Give it a try and let us know how you like it. TOOOT!
A final word: there is a big debate among those humans dedicated to enjoying cream teas about whether jam or clotted cream should come first. We refrain from weighing in on either side at this point. My humans just like to gobble them up, no matter.
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