Celebrating British Food & Cooking
Clotted cream is a speciality from the counties of Devon and Cornwall in Southwest England. As it’s name suggests it is thick, rich and the ideal accompaniment to scones.
As you know we English are internationally famed as a nation for our love of tea. We have breakfast tea, all-day tea, afternoon tea and for a special treat the cream tea.
The cream tea is more than just a cup of infused tea leaves, it is a national institution where tea is served with scones, clotted cream and jam. Don’t confuse this with afternoon tea which is something else entirely. Confusing, I know.
Which Way Do You Like It?
Now, the taking of a cream tea is not without some degree of controversy which has been rumbling on for at least 150 years. Depending on which side of the river Taymar you are, it’s the boundary between Devon and Cornwall, determines which one of two ways you prepare your scones:
In Cornwall you put the cream on top of the jam, and in Devon the jam on top of the cream!
To this day there is fierce debate over which way is best with the unwitting tourists being pawns in the middle. The only things the two camps agree on is that the scones are buttered and the tea is served in proper cups not mugs.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
Devonians say they invented the eating of scones with cream and jam in the 11th century so their method of cream before jam has historical roots. The Cornish say that practicality is on their side where the jam protects the cream plus they invoke the royal prerogative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth apparently prefered her scones their way.
Buckingham Palace refused to comment when asked for confirmation.
After trying both ways I can confidently say that I have no preference for one over the other.
What is certain is that you need a goodly dollop of clotted cream either way. The most popular brand in the UK is Rodda’s based in Cornwall.
But, it is really easy to make your own from everyday double or heavy cream. You just need a large baking dish and patience while you wait the 12 hours for the cream to bake.
Here’s the Recipe …
English Clotted Cream
- 500 ml Double Cream
- Preheat the oven to 80°C/180°F.
- Pour the cream into a large oven dish. The dish should be big enough so that the cream sits over a wide surface area and be between ½- to 1-inch in depth.
- Put the cream in the oven for 12 hours.
- Remove the cream from the oven. A thick skin should have formed over the top.
- Let the cream cool to room temperature, then put the dish in the fridge for 12 hours.
- Scrape off the thickened layer that has formed and transfer to a mixing bowl. Discard the liquid.
- Mix thoroughly until you have a smooth, thick clotted cream.