This is a specialty of Devon and Cornwall in Southern England. It is made from rich cows milk of the Devon cattle.
Clotted or clouted is a word derived from clout, a thick piece of leather and implies that the cream can have changed very little over the years. Basically it is scalded cream which develops a characteristic nutty, caramel flavor. Originally clotted cream was made in heavy earthenware pans over the gentle heat of peat fires. The steady heat of the heavy pans helped to warm and cool the cream very slowly, which has a bearing on the final product. The evenings milk was used as it is richer and the cream rises to the top more easily.
Today a double boiler arrangement is best suited for this purpose.
Heat the milk to 170-190F for app. 40-50 minutes. Small bubbles will form under the cream level which should be wrinkled but not broken. Practice and eye are the only real guide as to when to remove the pan from the heat.
If the weather is cool the pan may be cooled on a dairy shelf for 12-24 hours. If it is hot it is better to circulate cold water around the pot. It is said that air cooling produces the best flavor, for this reason cooling under refrigeration is not advocated as it causes a lot of flavor loss.
If the cream is skimmed too soon a lot is lost in the milk, if left too long off-flavors may result, especially in warm weather. Remove the cream from around the edges with a knife and then from the top with a skimmer, allowing the skim milk to drain through. An unbroken layer on the top gives a very nice presentation.
- Streaky cream may result from over scalding
- Oily flavor may result from overcooking
- Insipid cream may result from undercooking
- Very pale cream, it should be straw colored, may result of too acid, or over-ripened milk is used (over 0.21 acidity)