How Clotted Cream Is Made In England | Regional Eats | Food Insider (2023)


The queen of afternoon tea served with scones and strawberry jam, clotted cream is sometimes confused with butter for its thick, rich texture. While it contains some butterfat (a lot of it, actually), clotted cream isn't churned, as butter would be. Instead, its butterfat is separated slowly following a precise, lengthy process that here in Cornwall has been passed down over generations. We visited Treleague Dairy in Ruan Minor, England, to find out how it’s made.

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How Clotted Cream Is Made In England | Regional Eats | Food Insider


Claudia: The, queen of afternoon tea served with scones and strawberry jam, clotted cream is sometimes confused with butter for its thick, rich, texture., While.

It contains some butterfat (a lot of it, actually), clotted cream, isn't churned, as butter would be.


Its butterfat is separated slowly, following a precise, lengthy process that here in Cornwall has been passed down over generations.

We're in Ruan, Minor, Cornwall.

And today we're going to find out how clotted cream is made.

I, can't, wait to taste it.


Go see how it's made.

Just by looking at it.

It has the consistency of ice cream.

It looks a bit like ice.

Cream., Claire:, It, does., Claudia:, The, texture of butter., Claire:, Yeah.

It does, yeah.

And, the taste of cream., Claire:, Cream, yeah., Claudia:, Of, like, milk, cream., Claire:, Yes, yeah., Claudia:, So, it's, really these three things together., Claire:, And, all come from milk.

Very, clever, product, milk., Claudia:, Yeah., Claire:, It, is., Claudia:, And.

How did that clever milk turn into such a product?? Well, clotted cream starts with fresh milk.

That is pasteurized at 63 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

This temperature is ideal to preserve its creamy flavor without burning it.

It is then cooled down to no more than 36 degrees to force the milk to separate into fat and liquid.


Next step is to pour it into the separator, which skims the cream from the milk.

So, how much milk are you putting here in the separator? Claire: This is probably 35 liters of whole milk, going in., It's, usually 1 liter of cream to 12 liters of milk.

Claudia:, Oh, all right.

That's, really, small., Claire:, Yeah., Claudia:, But.

You still want to make something out of it.

Claire: Yeah.

It is the cream of the crop.

If you know what I mean., Literally., Claudia:, Yeah, yeah, it is.

Claire: The best part of it.

It's, not easy to get it.

Right., Claudia: Yeah.

Why is that? Claire: Well, I think it's the temperature.


You process, the milk as well, to make sure you actually start separating it at the right temperature, the right consistency of cream.

My uncle used to sell his own cream.

And he taught me that if the cream will stick to your thumb, that's, the right, consistency., If, it falls off, it's, not going to be any good., Claudia:, It's, not good, because it means there's still a little bit of milk in there? Claire:, That's, right, yeah., Claudia:, You, don't want any of that.

Claire: You'll be working with me in a minute.

Claudia: This is your test.


It looks like nail polish.

Claire:, That's, good., Claudia:.

The separation is done twice to get the richest cream.



The separator is off, Claire, takes it apart to explain to me how it works.

Here? You can see a series of disks.


The machine is on.

They spin and push the skimmed milk through these holes, while the cream, which is heavier, flows to the bottom.

Claire: As.

Each particle of milk goes through.

These spin at such a rate, each one of them, that all the cream --.

Claudia: Oh.

There's, many., Claire:, Yeah, there's, loads., See.

They all are separated, coming off like that.


Obviously, take the milk off every time.

We use them, but there's a lot of fat as well.

That's kept in here., Claudia:, Oh!, Claire:, It's, probably really good for your skin.

It's like a moisturizer.

Claudia: The.

Fresh cream is then poured into little pots., By skimming, the milk twice.

What we've got is double cream., To become clotted cream.

It will need to be left to set for 12 hours in the fridge.


This time, the thickest part of the cream rises to the surface, creating clots.

Claire: Which will make it clotted.

Cream., Claudia:, Oh, I, see., So, that's.

Why it's called clotted cream., Claire:, You, cook, the clots, yeah, you cook, the clots, and the cream underneath should be runny compared to the top.

So you have that lovely, crust.

Claudia:, Oh, I, see.


This is the way to go.

And it is a very lengthy.

Process., Claire:, It, is, yes, definitely., It's, well, worth waiting for.

Claudia:, Look, nice and bubbly.

Claire:, They, do, yeah., Claudia:, After spending the night in the fridge, the pots are ready to be cooked.

Claire tells me she's found the perfect temperature and baking time to be 85 degrees Celsius for one hour and 30 minutes.

This allows her to give the cream.

A nice crust without overcooking, it., Ooh., Claire:, What.

You want is that lovely crust.

Claudia: Yeah.

It has a crust.

Claire: You, see it cracking there? And then it's just about right to put on that lovely, scone.


Sure you have the crust on top.

This is a good consistency because you've got --.

The underneath isn't, too runny.

It won't run off your scone.

Claudia:, Yeah., Claire: Teeth will sink right into it.



My turn now.

I'm, not going to get a spoon as big as yours.

Claire: Keep, the crust.

Make sure --.

There you go.


Cheers., Mm.

That was ..

felt it.


You do feel it.

You, definitely need a scone to go with it.

Yeah, you're, not supposed to eat.

It like that.

You're, not really meant to eat it on its own.

Unfortunately, Claire had to run to bottle the rest of the fresh milk of the day.

So I sat down with Margaret, the owner of the farm, to enjoy clotted cream.

The most traditional way possible, in an afternoon, tea, or cream, tea, as it's called here in Cornwall.

The clotted cream is paired with strawberry jam and scones that Margaret herself made with some leftover buttermilk.

While spreading cream and jam on your scone may look like the most natural thing.

The order in which you do.

It has long been the subject of one of the biggest culinary debates in the UK.

Which way should I start? Because, I know here there are a lot of rules on how to approach this, and I could be persecuted if I put one thing before the other.

Have, your scone.

And then, in Cornwall.

You always put some jam on it first.


So first, the jam.

All, right., Yes., Claudia: Why.

Would you put the jam first and the cream? Last?, Margaret:, Well, it's, what we've always done here, but I think if you put the jam in, then you put as much cream on as you like, can't.

You? It is nice.


A nice big, one., Claudia:, That's, enough, eh?, The, whole, thing?, Margaret:, Yes, at least that much.

Claudia: At, least!, Oh, gosh., Margaret:, Yeah., Claudia:, It's, quite a lot, huh?, Very, good.

This cream.

Margaret:, Nice., Claudia:, Mm., Oh, I can see why you put this for last, because it's, really what stays there in your mouth.


You have it.

And you just have it on the top of your lips.

Very, very good.

I like the scones as well, homemade by you.

Yeah, I, really like them., Nice and soft and crumbly in the core.

Margaret: Good.

Everything together is so nice.

Yeah., It's, true., Margaret:, Jam and cream., Claudia:, Jam and cream.


Because the jam is first and the cream goes last., It's, not cream and jam.


How Clotted Cream Is Made In England | Regional Eats | Food Insider? ›

Also known as Devonshire cream, clotted cream is a thick cream that originated in the Southwest of England.

What is the American name for clotted cream? ›

Also known as Devonshire cream, clotted cream is a thick cream that originated in the Southwest of England.

Why can you get clotted cream in the US? ›

It seems that clotted cream is difficult to come across in the US because its main and only ingredient is heavy cream that's NOT ultra-pasteurized. Ultra-pasteurized milk is heated to a higher temperature (280ºF) than pasteurized milk (161ºF), extending its shelf life.

Is clotted cream illegal in the US? ›

Traditionally, clotted cream is made with unpasteurized cream, but that's illegal to sell in the US. The closest thing to raw cream is pasteurized cream, that is, cream that's been heated to 167˚F for 15 seconds, then chilled.

How is clotted cream produced? ›

Traditionally, clotted cream was created by straining fresh cow's milk, letting it stand in a shallow pan in a cool place for several hours to allow the cream to rise to the surface, then heating it either over hot cinders or in a water bath, before a slow cooling.


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