Clotted Cream (What Is It and How Do You Make It?)

scones and jam

In general, Americans are typically confused by the British concept of Clotted Cream.  Is it whipped cream?  Is it butter?  Is it fluffy cream cheese?  The answer is….none of above.  Clotted cream is actually thick and decadent with a texture similar to soft butter and its general one of the first things one thinks of when conjuring up the image of a “proper tea”.

Sometimes you can find clotted cream in a grocery that specializes in British goods, but why pay $8 for a jar when you can easily make it yourself?  There are several methods in which to make this, but the easiest I’ve found is on the stove top.  Are you ready to tackle this uniquely British treat?


4 cups heavy cream (note this must NOT be ultra-pasteurized cream; otherwise it con’t work)


  1. Pour heavy cream into a very heavy, very large, non reactive frying-pan. The goal is to create as much surface area as possible, and to use a pan that will conduct heat evenly and steadily.
  2. Place pan on the stove, with the burner set to the lowest possible setting. If you have a ‘warm’ setting, that’s perfect! Otherwise, use the lowest setting you have. If you have a gas stove, use a heat diffuser.
  3. After about an hour, a thick layer will have formed on the surface of the cream. Scrape it off with a non-slotted spoon and transfer it to a bowl, keeping the top of the fat layer facing upwards, if at all possible. Repeat this step three or four more times until most of the cream has thickened and been scraped into the bowl.
  4. Transfer the clotted cream to a tightly sealed container and refrigerate over night. After it has rested for the evening, you should have a thick, gloopy, cream which you can spread onto a freshly baked scone.

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