For the Love of Clotted Cream


Clotted cream with peach jam and biscuits.

Traditionally, clotted cream is made by heating unpasteurized milk and setting it in shallow pans for several hours. The cream rises and the clots can be skimmed off. Clotted cream is rich and sweet and delicious. In the process of pasteurizing my Beulah Petunia milk, I heat the milk (to pasteurize) then chill it, letting it sit overnight before skimming the cream. This somewhat mimics the heating and setting of the traditional method that results in a clotted cream. The heaviest top layer of the cream is rich and thick, almost buttery, when I skim the cream.

Clotted cream is a little hard to describe if you’ve never had it–it’s not whipped cream. Clotted cream isn’t whipped. It’s naturally thick. It’s sort of like a cross between whipped cream and butter, and it’s sweet just as it is. It’s most often associated with Cornwall and Devon, where it’s a popular tea-time treat with jam (usually strawberry) and scones.

I first tasted clotted cream when I took a trip to England several years ago. I fell in love with it. I stopped one day at a little tea shop in Cerne Abbas and had scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Scones, for all that I can tell, are pretty much what we call biscuits. What I had in Cerne Abbas certainly looked and tasted like a biscuit to me. A plain biscuit is a perfect complement to the incredible richness and sweetness of the clotted cream and jam. It was wonderful.

If you don’t have access to fresh cream, you can still make clotted cream with heavy whipping cream from the store. (Avoid ultra-pasteurized cream.) Heat a quart of cream to 180-degrees and hold it for 8-12 hours at that temperature. Use a shallow pan for maximum surface area. (You could also do this in a large crock pot on Low then turn it to Warm after it heats up.) If you don’t have a Warm setting on your crock pot, you might try turning it off and wrapping it in towels to retain the heat. A layer of cream should thicken on the top. Leave the cream to cool in the refrigerator for another 12 hours (or overnight). Skim the thick, heavy clotted cream and save the light cream left beneath for other uses. You should end up with about a cup of clotted cream. I have not tried this method. I have a cow. She gives me clotted cream every day. However, I don’t want anyone to go clotted cream-less just because they don’t have a cow, so I searched out this method for clotting storebought cream. You can read more details here and check the comments on that page for more info about using a crock pot.

What can you do with clotted cream? Besides topping jam and biscuits, you can use it on cakes and pies and pancakes and whatever else your heart desires! I fell in love with clotted cream fudge while I was in England. I bought it every day in little roadside shops and couldn’t get enough. I brought some home to the kids and they loved it, too. I found a place where I could buy clotted cream online, and a recipe, and started making clotted cream fudge at home. That was back in the day when it never even occurred to me that I could make my own clotted cream or that I’d ever have a cow.

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How to make Clotted Cream Fudge:

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 ounces light corn syrup
1 cup clotted cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat a bit and cover, boiling for three minutes. You may have to take the lid off and stir it down a few times–do not leave the pot unattended. Uncover and continue to boil until the temperature reaches 240-degrees.

Remove from heat and beat until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan.

After thirty minutes, mark into squares with a knife then let set. Cut into pieces and store in an airtight container.

This candy is fabulous, very creamy and rich.

Clotted cream is one of life’s sweetest treats. If you’ve never tried it, you must. And then you’ll want to make your own!

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  1. Melissa says:

    Where do you find the time? I just love all of your posts on how to make delicious things. I don’t have a cow but am going to try the alternative method for sure! Thanks for your very entertaining and informative blog.

  2. Jennifer Robin says:

    Oh. My. I think I am going to LOVE clotted cream, and I have scone mix in the pantry. We have a couple of wonderful dairies :cowsleep: in our area with raw and lightly pasteurized milk, etc available; I can’t wait to try this!

  3. blossom says:

    ooo, i love clotted cream, As a child we used to stay with friends in Cornwall, and the milk from the house cow would be left in wide shallow pans overnight before being skimmed.
    It was used in all sorts of things, including a good dollop in Cornish pasties (beef,onion and swede pastries).
    These days, apart from cream teas, it is often served with puddings in pubs/restaurants. It is especially good with sticky toffee pudding!

  4. CindyP says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. That looks yummy! I need more cream!

  5. SkippyMom says:

    So coincidental as i had never heard of this type of fudge before but after reading your post i came across [accidently] another recipe from a woman in England who loves this type of fudge.

    She says that if you don’t have access to clotted cream you can use evaporated milk as her mother always did. And she swears it tastes the same. i don’t know – but i thought it was funny i read about this twice in one morning.

    it does look good.

  6. blueberrylu says:

    Thank You!!!!! I have had clotted cream in England and also at a tea shop not far from my house in Michigan—-it is yummy on a scone. My friend Country Bell tried it and was trying to make some at home one day when I was over to visit. It was good, but more like whipped cream. I will make sure she checks the site today. She has access to fresh milk, so she should be able to make some.

  7. Jenni in KS says:

    Oh my goodness! This is not a good post for someone trying to improve their diet, but I am going to try this soon anyway. I love clotted cream! We first had it on a British Airways flight about 14 years ago and I have been searching for a good source or recipe since. The clotted cream recipes (probably mock clotted cream) haven’t been quite right. The tiny $8 jar I bought at our local grocery store was disgusting and such a disappointment. I do have a source for raw milk close by and I will be making my own clotted cream soon. Thank you!

  8. Julie says:

    I don’t know which is prettier, the teapot in that picture, or the cream?!

  9. Karen in Ohio says:

    In England a biscuit is a cookie.

    Somewhere on the web there must be a British to American translator! 😉

  10. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Oh my, I’ll take the biscuits, jam and clotted cream first and then have the fudge for dessert please!

  11. mamawolf says:

    After reading this my physician is extremely glad I don’t have a cow. LOL. Just reading this post I gained 5 pounds. Have always wanted to try clotted cream on my scones but didn’t know how to make it. Promise you won’t tell the doc?

  12. Dawn says:

    OH, yum! We had clotted cream in England also and I am so happy you posted these instructions for making. I can’t wait to try it!

  13. Nancy says:

    I think it’s the name that turns me off…anything “clotted” grosses me out! Any ideas where I can locate non-ultrapasteurized cream??? I can’t seem to find it. Also, have you ever made butter with goats milk?

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Nancy, I don’t kmow, re where to find non-ultra-pasteurized cream. I’ve actually made cream cheese with ultra-pasteurized cream and it still works for me, though I figure the yield is lower. I’ve never tried to make butter with goat milk. I’ve read that it’s more difficult–I think because of the butterfat content.

  14. Miss Becky says:

    WOW that clotted cream with the jam and biscuits looks delicious! :yes: :yes: :yes:

  15. Sheila says:

    Your blog is my favorite. I love to read it and think about the life that you lead. Pretty incredible is country, farm life!

  16. Pat says:

    I guess, mine is not clotted cream, but to me it tastes the same.
    I take 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a jar and add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk.
    Then I put it ON TOP of the refrigerator for 24 hours and after that I have my clotted cream.

  17. Megan says:

    Suzanne. Do you use props in your photos or do you just happen to have a b-e-a-u-tiful teapot and flowers sitting around with your clotted cream and biscuits? So Pretty! I am going to try making clotted cream with my goats cream! Also. I noticed Nancy asked about making butter with goats cream – it is very easy. I don’t know how to contact her directly, but maybe you could give her my contact info? Thanks!

  18. Sharon says:

    I also have not been able to find ANY cream that is NOT ultra pasteurized. I want to make ricotta and cream cheese and now your clotted cream. I have searched the whole city here. I stopped yesterday at a wholesale restaurant supply and they can get it for me but I have to purchase a case of 12 32 oounce cartons! Yikes! Way too much! So don’t know where to go next with my hunt. Don’t know any dairy farmers. Don’t think there are any here anyway.

  19. Country Bell says:

    We pasteurize our own milk from our dairy farm. Do you just take the very top cream (the thickest) off of the milk the day after pasteurizing and that is the clotted cream (doing nothing else to it)…or do you heat all the cream from the pasteurized milk on the stove, let it set over night in a shallow pan and then take the top layer off of that?? I might be confusing directions….

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Country Bell, I’m sorry! I just pasteurize then let it sit overnight then take the clotted cream off along with some of the more “liquid” heavy cream. I put that in one jar. After that, I take off the light cream to another jar. If I’m using to make butter or whipped cream, I just use the heavy cream as is, clotted and “liquid” heavy together. If I want to just use the clotted, I scoop it out separate. (Clotted cream, together with the regular heavy cream, makes GREAT butter and whipped cream.)

  20. Leesa says:

    You MUST try your clotted cream with lemon curd!! Another traditional English dish to put on your scones. It is wonderful. We first tasted this delightful combination on vacation and returned home determined to never be without it again!

  21. Angie says:

    Suzanne, I am curious as to why you pasteurize your milk. Is it just for clotted creme or something you do all the time? We switched to raw milk a few years ago. It was one of the best changes we have ever made.

  22. lavenderblue says:

    Just catching up on my reading today. This looks great. I don’t think our local dairy sells their own cream. When I’ve bought cream from them before it was in a state co-op carton. Wonder if this means they sell only the cream to the co-op? Or if they have unused cream just lying around? Maybe I can work out some sort of a trade.

    I’ve been going to pester Rose H. to gather some of the traditional English tea recipes. Here you’ve already done it. Or at least gotten some of them.

  23. Linda T. says:

    This is very interesting….I’ve always wondered what the heck ‘clotted cream’ was…..a new name might help! Anyway, something I’ve been wondering since your post about the milking and the cream skimming……you get a layer of heavy (and/or clotted) cream….then a layer of light cream…..and you’re left with milk…..what would that milk compare to in the store? Is it like skim milk (what with all the skimming) or does skim milk have more done to it? Sorry to be so dense; but I’ve been trying to picture how this all works.

  24. Chic says:

    Oh Suzanne…I had clotted cream when I was in England visiting my sister. We stopped at this sweet little shop in Sidmouth Devon for ‘Cream Tea’ and we were served the most DELICIOUS scones with home made strawberry jam and clotted cream. I had NEVER had clotted cream before and of course I spread it on very ‘thinly’. My sister had a fit and said ‘that’s not how you do it’ and proceeded to ‘slather’ the clotted cream on and then the jam and OH BOY…I was in HEAVEN!!! You lucky woman…enjoy your clotted cream and THANKS for the recipe I’m going to try it this week. Hope you have a wonderful Sunday…Maura:)

  25. imuneekru says:

    I bought some heavy cream from Trader Joe’s, intending to use it in a pie that was not meant to be. The other day, I checked it and discovered it was a day from expiring. When I could not pour it out, I cut the carton open to discover about a half-inch plug of thickened cream that had separated out from the liquid part. After cautiously taste-testing both, I discovered this stuff was sweet, fresh-tasting, and amazing on scones! The rest is now butter, and… well, buttermilk peach scones. Yum! We miss out by buying nothing but ultra-homogenized dairy in stores.

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