Clotted Cream (Belatedly)
What ever happened to my obsession with clotted cream? It’s been 18 whole days since I last wrote and said that I couldn’t stop thinking about scones and wouldn’t stop until I’d recreated a proper British cream tea for myself. I actually managed to make them about two weeks ago, but I haven’t had time to write about my experiment!
I’m planning on tracking down some unpasteurized cream for my next attempt, but this time I got decent results by using Straus cream, which is lightly pasteurized and costs about $5.50/pint when you factor in the bottle deposit. Holy cow!
(Get it? See what I did there?)
Then I put it in a Dutch oven over a double boiler, skimming the clotted cream off the top periodically and reserving it for later. One quart of cream took about eleven hours to clot. The crusty top is the part you want to eat, by the way–as the water evaporates from the milk, only the thickened cream and butterfat is left behind. In other words, it is incredibly, richly delicious and should look something like this:
The next day I whipped up some scones, which are still not perfect enough to share. If I ever write a cookbook one day, I’ll have an excuse to become truly obsessive, and I’ll test scone recipes until the cows come home. (Did you catch that one? Too far?)
Until then, I can at least fill you in on one little secret. This time, I used the leftover cream that you see in the bottom of the Dutch oven as the liquid ingredient in my scones. Though my scones came out a bit crumbly and difficult to handle, they were incredibly flavorful. Just a little more tinkering and I should have the tastiest scones west of the Atlantic Ocean.
Even when things didn’t go perfectly, nobody had a problem with the crumbly scones once they were topped with clotted cream and blackberry jam. If you check out that buttery layer beneath the jam, you’ll know what clotted cream should look like when you spread it on a warm scone. What’s not to love?
1 qt. unpasteurized cream
1. Place cream in a Dutch oven (or another bowl, preferably non-stick if you can swing it) over a double boiler. The water should be at a simmer, around 170-180º F.
2. Maintaining the simmer, leave the cream without stirring and skim the clotted cream off the top of the cream periodically. Reserve it, covered, in the refrigerator for later scone usage.