Of course, though clotted cream is delicious on its own, on biscuits (especially slightly soft ginger nuts) or with just about anything sweet or semi-sweet you care to name, the absolute best way to eat it is as a Devonshire Cream Tea. No! Any Kiwis reading this who believe a Devon Cream Tea can be approximated using whipped cream, thickened cream or some other Ersatz product – forget it! It can’t for a Devonshire Cream Tea (or even its rival and near approximation a Cornish Cream Tea) you must have proper clotted cream. (Even the stuff they sell in tins and jars that comes from factories is a mere approximation to the real thing.
Here’s how you make a quick modern version. (The real thing is made in big enamel basins over a water bath, using fresh raw cream.)
Making clotted cream
- Take a bottle of “Fresh Cream” from the supermarket.
- Pour it into an oven proof bowl or casserole that will allow the quantity you have to fill it 3-6cms deep
- Put it in the oven at 80C (or if you are not sure of your thermostat maybe 70C for longer)
- Be patient
- …be very patient
- Gradually the delicious “clots” will form as a skin on the cream
- When you can be patient no longer (or after 8 hours or so) scoop off the clotted cream into a serving bowl
Nb. don’t worry if some ordinary cream is mixed with the clots the variability of texture and taste is part of the joy (part that mass-produced cream, in these days of standardised homogenised industrial dairying, cannot really deliver).
- 2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 50 grams butter (or if you must margarine)
- ¾-1 cup goats whey or milk (ideally slightly soured – I remember my granny saving “off” milk for making her famous scones)
- Heat the oven to 230C
- Put the flour, baking powder and salt into the food processor, zap briefly to mix and airate.
- Add the butter and zap till it becomes crumbs.
- Make a well in the centre, pour in the whey or milk (start with 2/4 cup
- Mix quickly with spatula to make a soft dough.If you need to add a little more liquid.
- On a floured surface roll to 2-4cms thick (depending how big you like your scones). Do not flatten be gentle!
- Cut into 5cm rounds (or squares) and put on a greased baking tray. Left over whey or Brush with milk to glaze.
- Bake at 230ºC for 10-15 minutes until cooked, turning the tray round at half-time.
- Cool on a rack till you can comfortably eat them. They can be crisped and warmed if you make them ahead of time.