Make Clotted Cream (Slow Cooker Method)

Make Clotted Cream
For the past few weeks, I’ve been showcasing the many ways that you can make clotted cream at home and not have to buy the icky pre-packaged stuff at the grocery store. Sure, the clotted cream at your local supermarket isn’t all that bad, but nothing beats this luxurious spread when it’s made fresh, especially if you’re using the best fresh, organic cream you can find. You’ll also notice that prefab clotted cream is often stored at room temperature, which means it’s filled with weird preservatives. Why not avoid that completely with what amounts to five minutes of actual work?

So far I’ve covered:

  • The oven method
  • The double boiler method
  • The stovetop method

Today, we’re discussing the slow cooker method, which is probably the least labor intensive of all techniques. Essentially, you put some cream in your slow cooker, turn it on, and walk away for eight hours.

Yes, that’s it.

The key to making clotted cream is maintaining a good surface-area to cream ratio. In other words, you want to have as much of the heavy cream exposed to the air as possible, to maximize the amount of clotted cream you get in the end. So, if you have a huge slow cooker, great! If you have a smaller slow cooker (like 3 quarts or less), you might consider halving the recipe for best results.

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Make Clotted Cream (Slow Cooker Method)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Serves: 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Learning how to make clotted cream in a slow cooker is easy and yields a lovely, luxurious cream to spread on English muffins with a little jam. Note: Some slow cookers run hotter than others, so you may find that your particular model cooks faster or slower than what I allow for below. I recommend checking your cream every 2 hours to see how it’s looking, then leave me a comment here so I can track how long everyone’s individual cookers take to make clotted cream.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups heavy cream – NOT ultra-pasteurized
Instructions
  1. Pour heavy cream into the vessel of your slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker, then set it to the lowest setting, usually called “warm” or “low.”. Let sit for 3 hours. Do not stir! Note: there is a variance in slow cookers and how hot they get, even between individual examples of the same brand and model. If your slow cooker gets too hot and scorches your cream, you may want to use a water bath method. To do this, pour the cream in a wide, open dish that fits into the vessel of your slow cooker and set it inside. Fill the cooker with about an inch of water that surrounds the dish with the cream. This water will act as a buffer between your too-hot slow cooker and the your would-be clotted cream.
  2. After 3 hours has passed, gently remove the crock from the slow cooker, being very careful not to move the cream around and agitate the fragile top layer. Allow the cream to come to room temperature, and then slide the crock into your refrigerator to sit for 8 to 12 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker gets.
  3. Once the top layer is solid, use a slotted spoon to gently skim the thick layer of clotted cream from the surface, leaving the liquidy whey-type stuff behind. You can use the leftover liquid much like you can reuse whey, such as in bread, soup, rice.
  4. Gently stir the clotted cream to create an even, creamy texture. Store in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. Make sure you keep it in a tightly sealed container so that it doesn’t pick up strange flavors from your fridge – you don’t want your clotted cream tasting of garlic hummus or those green onions that have turned into a science experiment in your crisper. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

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Comments

  1. Tres Delicious says:

    Can’t believe its this easy to make. It looks marvelous, am craving for it now. Nice photo

  2. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    Nothing beats clotted cream! This is amazing–never knew you could do this :)

  3. I want to put together English Tea baskets for Christmas gifts and would love to include clotted cream. Do you know if it can be canned?

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Hrmm. I’m really not sure – I wouldn’t bet on it, since dairy is so volatile. But, I’d ask someone who knows more about canning, like Sean Timberlake over at .

  4. Catherine says:

    I tried this last night and it was an utter failure :( It turn darker brown on top, and stayed completely liquid through out. I am reasonably sure that the temp was too high, but did you also leave out that you should wait for an hour after taking it out of the slow cooker? I noticed that you said that on the double boiler method, but not here. I poked it right away, and then thought “Oh shoot – I probably should have let this come to room temp”. Anyway… I’m going to try again, with a different slow cooker – I halved the recipe, and used a small (cheap) one, but I will probably have better results in a larger, better quality slow cooker.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Hi Catherine,

      How strange! Let me know how it goes with a different slow cooker – I’ll bet it just burned. :(

      • Catherine says:

        It didn’t get solid enough to skim anything off the second time (when I did it in my proper slow cooker)… I was just using cream I found in the carton at the grocery store – not the UHT stuff, but not unpasturized, either. I don’t know. I’m willing to try again, but do you have any other tips? It just didn’t get solid! I even tried letting it sit in the fridge to see if it would firm up at all and get solid, but no dice. Boo. I crave clotted cream so badly! lol

  5. Did you skim it while it was hot or let it come to room temperature or cool completely in the fridge? Looks delish! Thanks!

  6. I tried the slow cooker method and the directions definitely need a little revision. Using pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized) organic heavy whipping cream from Trader Joe’s, I set the slow cooker to “medium” and went on about my business. I came back two hours later and the cream had a nice yellow/gold crustiness over it. I thought there was no way it could be done yet, so I left it for another 5 hours. BAD IDEA. When I came back it was a crusty, scorched, brown mess. I knew it was ruined, but I wanted to see if it could be salvaged. I let it completely cool and went to scooping out the cream. It was still liquid underneath the scorched crust (just like Catherine’s) so I gave up, but as I was pouring the mess down the drain, I noticed all the thick creamy goodness was at the bottom of the pot, beneath the liquid (and I was not swift enough to catch it before it hit the sink).

    Even on the “low” setting, my pot seems to get way too hot to have heavy cream sitting in it for 8+ hours. So, here’s what I did the second time around. I poured in my Trader Joe’s heavy whipping cream again, covered it, set the pot on “low” and let it do what it does for about 2 hours. When I came back, that nice, yellowish crust had started to form again (but it was more of a pale yellow than gold this time around). I turned off the pot, removed the lid (so the condensation would not continue to drip onto the cream) and let it sit, uncovered, for 30 or 45 minutes. I then filled my kitchen sink with cold water, removed the cooking pot from the (turned off) heat source and placed it in the sink uncovered for 30 minutes or so. At this point, the cooking pot felt almost room temperature, so I lightly taped a couple of paper towels over the pot, cleared my fridge of anything with onions or bananas in it (didn’t want the cream to absorb these flavors), and let the cream sit. 10+ hours later, I scooped off that top crusty, yellow layer and I had perfect, buttery but light, slightly sweet, clotted cream. I repeated the process again, with the left over liquid and was able to skim off another thin layer clotted cream.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Hi Aim,

      You know, I’ve been testing this and I think there may be a big difference in how hot slow cookers get. I tried something very similar to your method last week, and it worked very well. I’m wondering if a water bath might be in order to make this work in a crockpot that runs hotter?

      • Heather G says:

        This is, in essence, what I do to make clotted cream almost as good as I had it when I lived in the UK!

        I sit a flat-bottomed glass bowl on a large metal cookie cutter or ring of aluminum foil inside the crock, put about a pint of heavy cream from a local dairy in the glass bowl, and match that level (or nearly so) with warm water in the crock itself. I put the lid on halfway (I have cats to keep out of it!), set the pot to Warm, and leave it for 10-12 hours, until it gets that nice, buttery color on top. I turn the pot off, let it cool for a couple hours, then pull the inner bowl out carefully, cover it with a tea towel, and leave it in the fridge overnight or for eight hours or so. I find it easiest to slide a sharp knife around the clotted layer and pour off the liquid cream underneath, as it has more of that ‘whippy’ quality with a little added moisture underneath. Also, I don’t mix mine, but that might just be personal preference. All in all, I prefer the oven method, which yields a better buttery crust, but with an unreliable oven this is the best I’ve got!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Either way, I’ve gone ahead and edited the steps above.

  7. Ive just started to make this in my slow cooker, but even on low (my owners guide said temp at low is 180) only after two hours it started to boil….I’ve turned it off but is it totally ruined now?

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Possibly… bring it back down to a lower temp and maintain the heat as best you can, seeing if you can save it. Let me know how it turns out.

      Modern Crock Pots are pretty difficult when it comes to keeping a stable temperature. I’ve had mine totally burn, because I have one Crock Pot that is particularly “hot tempered.” ;)

  8. Stuart In Germany says:

    Wow I used the slow cooker method Yesterday for the Clotted Cream I used 3 pkts of Cream and put the cooker on Warm for 3 hours But it did not look quite right so I did it for 5 and then let it cool and Put it out on our Cold Balcony . and this morning I scraped off the nicest Clotted Cream ever !!!!
    Thanks for Sharing
    When I say warm setting I have 3 High- Low and then Warm and Warm was Perfect
    Stu

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Good problem solving skills! Everyone’s slow cooker is a little different, so often they can run too hot or too cool. Thanks for letting me know how it went. :)

  9. Thank you for posting this recipe. I cooked the cream on low for about 4 hours and it came out delicious. I used the leftover whey to make scones to eat with the cream. This was fun and satisfying.

  10. Lauren Ruth says:

    I tried this in my Hamilton Beach crockpot. I put it on “warm” (as you suggested) and it took me 11 hours of cooking to get the cream to become clotted cream. I’m guessing that when you wrote this recipe you were actually running your slow cooker on “low” rather than “warm.” Anyway, other than the extra time it came out marvelously!

    • Hi Lauren, There’s a lot of variance between slow cookers – you want yours on the lowest setting, regardless of what it’s called. :)

  11. Christian says:

    I definitely yielded clotted cream from the slow cooker method.

    I have two questions:

    1. You mention a “thick” layer of clotted cream. I’d say mine was fairly thin i.e., there was a lot of cream left over. Is this how it should be?

    2. Can I make more clotted cream with this leftover liquid?

    • Hi Christian,

      I think your end texture depends on a few factors, such as how hot your slow cooker gets, the cream you used, and how long it cooked for. You can always whip the cream a little to give it more “loft,” if you’d like.

      You may be able to get more cream out of the leftover liquid – again it would entirely depend on your specific situation (how much fat is in your cream, the slow cooker temp, etc). I’d give it a try, though! There’s nothing to lose. :)

  12. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing this gem of a recipe; I despaired of ever having fresh clotted cream. In San Diego, the only place I know of that sells it, is The Shakespeare Corner Shoppe, kitty corner to the Pub & Grill. I’m too lazy to fetch it myself, and would rather have something fresh than imported — granted it is the Devonshire Cream, but $8.99 + tax for 6oz is not what I’m willing to pay. Call me crazy, but I’d rather go to Trader Joe’s – (everywhere else has ultra-pasteurized) and pay $2.99 +tax for 16oz of fresh cream (organic was $3.29 + tax), and make it myself. I have a pretty ancient 8qt Hamilton Beach crock that has a “warm” setting. I followed the instructions; after 3hrs, I let it come to room temp, then overnight into the fridge it went. I made the mistake of using a huge, slotted plastic spoon to skim off the crazy yumminess; by the time I figured out how to save the clotted cream, my yield was quite poor, so round two it is. Did the same thing, and waited patiently to skim it. The second go-around, I used a stainless steel slotted spoon, and a metal, large 3-prong server, carefully mixed up the clotted goodness with the runny stuff that came off with it, and my yield filled a cute little mason jar. After a few hours in the fridge, my darling little mason jar filled with clotted deliciousness was quite solid, and very spreadable. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Now I just need to find a delicious scone recipe to go with it. Thank you again for generously sharing this user friendly recipe. You’ve saved me a trip across the Pond, not to mention, FRESH clotted creaminess whenever I feel like it. Since I have two 8qt crocks, I can double the pleasure whenever I want! Thank you again from San Diego.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says:

      Your comment made me SUPER happy. Thanks for letting me know. :) This is why I keep going!

      • BTW, I’m still enjoying the clotted cream deliciousness I made after I posted; its keeping very well in my adorable little mason jar; I was also able to get more clotted cream from the leftovers; of the 64oz of fresh cream I purchased, I performed the process 4xs; the 1st yield was good, but I ruined it because my skimming tools were too big for the delicate process; the 2nd & 3rd yield was so much more, and the 4th yield, was barely enough to skim off the top, but I still had an impressive yield, considering it was the same 64oz I used. I returned the leftover liquid (whey?) to its containers, 32oz total, and am using it in my recipes and coffee. THANK YOU again for generously sharing!

  13. I just wanted to post my experience with this recipe.

    I used a 5 quart Rival Crockpot (about 10 years old or so), and a 16oz bottle of plain, Trader Joe’s pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized or organic) heavy whipping cream. I followed the instructions as written above, but I accidentally left my stoneware out on the kitchen counter overnight. When I initially opened the crockpot after the 3 hour cooking time, I was kind of worried because the edges were a golden brown colour. But I followed through and now I have a full oz of beautiful clotted cream and it is DELICIOUS!

    Thanks so much!!

  14. Ok so i would love to try this recipe, but im not sure if my slow cooker is large enough. Its is plenty deep, but not very wide. I was wondering if this would make my clotted cream come out wrong? Also, if i were to cut the recipe in half, would i still keep the same time frames? Thanks ;)

    • I don’t think it really matters; there’s only one way to find out. start off with a little bit of cream, and try it out. My oval 8qt Hamilton Beach (ancient, really), did really well. Good luck

  15. Thanks very much for this guide Stephanie. My Brit hubby was quite pleased- got one overflowing Bon Marman jar-ful (370g/13oz) of golden crust/firm cream plus a ramekin-ful of toasted edge-crust and runnier bits, and 8oz liquid (a bit thicker than the initial product) cream left over… using 2 pints of Trader Joe’s regular Grade A pasteurized heavy cream ($2.99 ea)- first try after reading some of these comments. The cream came up about an inch high in our Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker (Model 33967- w/probe thermometer) crock. Started on the WARM setting to bring it gently out of fridge-cold with the lid turned ajar <1in to allow evaporation, and in roughly 2 hours temp had leveled out at approx 120F, so then I set it to LOW on probe setting and in just over 2 hrs the shutoff/alarm sounded once it reached 180F. At that point I turned the lid more so just over 1 in ea side to allow moisture (and heat, figuring it'd continue to increase otherwise) to escape, and monitored it while continuing on LOW but on timer for 5 hours. Yet another 2 hrs later, satisfied that the temp had leveled out around 178F (tip of probe in center of crock at surface), I went to bed. I turned the cooker off a few mins short since I happened to wake (it measured 174F then), figuring it'd cool to room temp by the time everyone woke. The internal part might've been still a smidge above room temp when I carefully moved it to the fridge (the wrinkly golden crust undulated like a water bed) about 3 hrs later, so I left the lid ajar to let it dry further in the fridge and avoid condensation (having already cleared the fridge of anything that might taint the cream with strong scents). The fridge time seemed to make a diff- I spooned out a corner after about 5 hrs refrigeration to share with a friend I was meeting then, but though it was delicious, other than the crust it was fairly liquid. By the time I expressed my disappointment about the apparent failure to my hubby later that night, he was spreading creamy solids from that same small container- and sure enough, the rest of the crock had a slab of about half-inch thick clotted cream under the crust that lifted up with it (about 18 hrs fridge time then). The cream hadn't reduced as much as I'd expected- the crock contents came just under an inch high after the whole process. A few notes: this was in a kitchen in California winter (60-70F Room temp), clotted cream & byproducts had a slight pink-orange tinge for some reason (but tasted freshly sweet if a lil toasted in flavor, and didn't seem to indicate anything bad- no one felt any different even after eating tablespoonfuls several days in a row), at no stage was enough condensation allowed to gather on the lid to drip back into the cream, and I checked actual temp by setting that particular cooker temporarily on probe setting if anyone was wondering. Next time I'd like to try using just one pint as someone mentioned, maybe at lower temp or more open lid to see if can get less of the toasted flavor, and see if even longer post-refrigeration before harvesting might yield more. Thanks again Stephanie, and everyone for their tips on this.. we now have delicious cream tea to pass around.

  16. Michelle Diaz says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I’m serving high tea for my best friend’s babyshower on Saturday and I wanted fresh clotted cream but had no clue where to procure it so I turned to the interwebs figuring I could certainly figure out how to make it. I purchased Organic Strauss Creamery whole cream in the glass pint, poured it into a pyrex bowl and floated it water in my old Rival Crock Pot set on low figuring my crock pot may be too hot to put the cream into directly and risk scortching. After about an hour, I checked the water bath temperature and it read about 180 degrees. I let the cream sit undisturbed in its waterbath for 4 hours and when I lifted the lid there was a light golden colored soft crust on top, so I pulled the bowl out and carefully moved it to the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I had about 3 oz of clotted cream which I skimmed off the top and transferred into a clean mason jar. I had enough full cream left in the bowl (not whey) to attempt a second bath, so I did, repeating as above and I got about another 3-4 oz of cream. It is so heavenly sweet and creamy it’s taking all my willpower not to devour the entire jar before the babyshower tomorrow! This stuff is so good, I seriously may never buy commercial butter again. Thanks again!

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