How to Make Clotted Cream (Oven Method)

How to Make Clotted Cream- Learn how to make clotted cream and the kingdom shall be yours. -

Learning how to make clotted cream is really easy, but a lot Americans don’t know this. Instead, most people still opt to buy it in little jars at specialty grocery stores for like $8 a piece. I’m completely baffled by this behavior, because, really, making clotted cream only takes about five minutes of actual work. It’s produced by gently heating uber-rich heavy cream until a thick layer forms on the surface. This thickened layer is removed, stirred, and you have clotted cream. Yup, that’s it. Seriously.

Clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream, is a part of the traditional English “cream tea,” during which the cream is served alongside scones, jam, and tea. Clotted cream can also be spread on English muffins, served with a sweet bread, set in a dollop atop fresh fruit, or used as a tart garnish for a myriad of sweet desserts.

Why bother learning how to make clotted cream? First of all, it’s insanely decadent. Its sultry creaminess exists on a plane somewhere between whipped cream and butter, providing a perfectly rich topping that still maintains a breathy lightness of fresh dairy. You’ll want to use the best heavy cream you can buy here, though if all you can get is the generic brand at your local supermarket, the finished product will still be light years ahead of the drek they sell in little jars for a king’s ransom.

5.0 from 4 reviews
How to Make Clotted Cream (Oven Method)
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: English
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream, is a part of the traditional English “cream tea,” during which the cream is served alongside scones, jam, and tea. You’ll want to use the best heavy cream you can buy here, if it's available. Makes 2 cups.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups heavy cream – NOT ultra-pasteurized
Instructions
  1. Pour heavy cream into a shallow glass pan that allows for a lot of surface area. Cover the pan with foil, then place in the oven at its lowest temperature – if yours has a ‘warm’ setting, then perfect – for 8 hours or overnight. Do not stir!
  2. After 8 hours has elapsed, carefully remove the pan from oven, being very careful not to agitate the cream. With a slotted spoon, gently skim the thick layer of clotted cream from the surface, leaving the thin milk liquids behind. You can use the liquid much like you can reuse whey, in bread, soup, rice.
  3. Gently stir the clotted cream to create a smooth, creamy texture. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, in a tightly sealed container so that it doesn’t pick up strange flavors. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

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Comments

  1. notblueatall says:

    What?! I love clotted cream, but hadn’t a clue how it was made or even what it really was. Cool, but how do I know if the cream I am buying is ultra-pasteurized? Temp: how low is too low? 8 hours? What about bacteria? Sorry, but I’m a food safety nerd and a bit of a germaphobe. Now, just gotta make some scones and YUM!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      No, it won’t go bad… yogurt is made by essentially heating it to just above room temp overnight, a similar process. It’s just the fermentation process. :) Heat should be low – I don’t think there’s too low, as long as it’s warm. ;) You might even be able to use a heating pad on high.

      The carton will say ultra-pasteurized, or just regular pasteurized.

  2. Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi says:

    Kiwis are very fond of a Devonshire Cream Tea-scones, cream, raspberry jam and a cuppa. I don’t think they normally have proper clotted cream though, just normal whipped cream. Yours would be much nicer.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      I should do a tea-scone post, eh? Do you have a recipe you like? I think a Kiwi version would be a little more unique than a British version. ;)

  3. So ironic. I went for afternoon tea just yesterday – a real and rare treat for me – and above all else, was looking forward to – you guessed it – the clotted cream for the scones. Heavenly…

  4. withinseason says:

    This sounds great! Which of the methods do you think is best? Are they comparable? The oven sounds good in terms of easiness, but my oven tends to run too hot for low-heat recipes (it ruins yogurt).

    You should totally do a tea-scone post. I’ve been using Darina Allen’s griddle scone recipe for a quick(ish) breakfast that is fantastic, but haven’t really found a good tea scone recipe yet.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      I personally think the slow cooker method might be best for you, or the double-boiler stovetop method. Both are easier to control, temp-wise.

      And you know, I think you’re right! I should do a tea scone post!

  5. I am making clotted cream with organic, grade A, raw cream.
    I have 2 pints in a shallow oven proof pan, covered.
    What I can’t figure out is what temp. Currently, I have the oven temp at 125, a dense batter proof temp. Is that too low? Too high? Anyone know, for sure?
    Thank you.

  6. I tried this yesterday. 10 hours at 170 heavy lightly pasteurized cream and the out to cool for an hour and the into the fridge. Today I tried to skim the top off and it was a thick hard almost waxy golden top layer. Any ideas what I did wrong? I forgot to cover it with foil so I’m wondering if that was my big mistake.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Yup, not covering it will cause it to get hard and weird. The foil keeps the moisture in – the air conditioning in fridges really dry things out!

  7. Rechenschw says:

    I love the recipe because I really love clotted cream but 8 hours in the oven is such a long time. Just thinking about the energy…

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Definitely a good point. You might try the slow cooker method, or one of the other methods I have on the site…
      Slow cooker:
      Double boiler:
      Stovetop:

      Re: the slow cooker method, some slow cookers get too hot to do this correctly and may scorch the cream, so keep an eye on it!

  8. Tried this with 38% fat, pasturised cream (not ultra-pasturised), after 8 hours it only had the slightest hint of a top skin, so I decided to leave in in for longer, after 19 hours, 1 hour to cool and 8 hours in the fridge, I got a “leathery” top skin and “milk” underneath. Nothing at all like clotted cream at least. I don’t think “warm” is correct. Perhaps this method works with “straight from the farm” non-pasturised cream, which is what they use for making proper clotted cream, but this didn’t work for me at least.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Glen, I think it depends on your oven. I’ve had a lot of luck with this recipe, as have others. Occasionally someone does pop in having a bit of trouble, and the only reason we’ve come up with is variance between ovens. Some ovens have ‘warm’ temp, others do not. Some have a low temperature setting at 175, others have 220. It’s sort of a crapshoot as to which oven you have. You might try increasing the temperature a touch and see which works for you.

      Good luck!

  9. I tried this using my Hamilton Beach slow cooker, 2 cups of raw cream from Sprouts. I left it on warm for 12 hours, let it sit for an additional 2, then put the crock pot in the fridge for 8 hours. In the end I got 1.5 cups of clotted cream with the consistency of whipped butter and 0.5 cups of milk with little cream clots in it. I have pictures. My question is this.. Every picture I see of clotted cream, it looks gooey mine is not, it’s like whipped butter. If I add some of the leftover milk to a spoonful of it and mix, I get a fluffy gooey blob like I see in pictures. Which is right?

    • Hi Crystal, I think the end texture depends entirely on the heat of your slow cooker and the specific cream you are working with. Different creams from different brands have slight variances in thickness and fat content, and combined with the varied heat of ovens/slow cookers, that can contribute to a different texture. Have you tried this method with pasteurized cream?

      Also, I’ve had clotted cream in the UK, both farm fresh and in major restaurants. There’s been a lot of variance in the texture of the farm fresh stuff, or anything that’s made in-house. The bottled cream is consistent, but they usually add emulsifiers to it to make it the same from one batch to the next.

      In other words, I think yours is probably perfect. :)

  10. I made a whole half gallon, baked it at 180F for 11.5 hours. Still thin when I put it in the refrigerator, but by the next morning it had thickened perfectly.

    Being from Australia, I was raised on clotted cream but since it’s not available in the US commercially, I went looking for the right recipe. Great!

  11. Could I possibly use a crockpot at the lowest setting since it has to be heated for such a long time?

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