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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Cream Tea for you and me!

For those of you who wonder just *what* in the world clotted cream is, here is your answer:

Devonshire clotted cream:

A cream tea cannot be considered as such unless there is cream and the type of cream that should be used is clotted cream. Originally, clotted cream was only produced in the Westcountry - this is where the rich soil, mild climate and the right breed of cattle came together to create milk with a high enough cream content to produce clotted cream. Even today when clotted cream is in greater demand (and available at supermarkets!) it will almost always be made in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset. If you exclude the modern milk processes and vegetable fat substitutes then there are only three types of cream - single, double and clotted. Each of these gets increasingly richer, thicker and luxurious.

Before the days of pasteurisation, the milk from the cows was left to stand for several hours so that the cream would rise to the top. Then this cream was skimmed and put into big pans. The pans were then floated in trays of constantly boiling water in a process known as scalding. The cream would then become much thicker and develop a golden crust which is similar to butter. Today however, the cream is extracted by a separator which extracts the cream as it is pumped from the dairy to the holding tank. The separator is a type of centrifuge which extracts the surplus cream at the correct quantity so that the milk will still have enough cream to be classified as milk.

Clotted cream has a consistency similar to soft butter and can be used as a replacement for butter in such things as toffees. It's great on freshly baked bread with honey (or honeycombe!), jam, syrup or black treacle (known as thunder and lightening!) - but most importantly is perfect for putting on a scone.

The above was taken from the site linked above and holds a world of information on a "proper" tea and recipies for scones as well! There is a picture of this perfect cream from heaven on the page. I hope you enjoy!

Dreaming in cream,
Kate
"Do you have anything I might put clotted cream on?"

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh Kate! Do you really use that much?! Thank you for the lesson on clotted cream. Janet.

Student of History said...

You mean do I really use it often? No, I don't actually. Only on occasion, but it is marvelous on a hot scone! I actually make my own version, and it is shredded frozen butter mixed with cream in its whipped state. It is really low cal, let me tell you. :+) The easy version is just to whip the cream and it is just as good. I should be a dairy farmer.

:+)
Kate

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I didn't make myself very clear. I wondered if you use that much cream on your scone as was shown in the picture that you linked. :) Janet.

Dy said...

Oh my! I'm surprised we haven't run into each other before! Sugar in tea, creamer in coffee, and I have to say anyone who is not afraid of milk fats is A-OK in my book!

Thank you so much for such a great, informative site. The boys and I have tea times during the grey winter months. That's when we focus on our music or art appreciation and ettiquette, and just enjoy some quiet time in the afternoons together. This site will come in handy!

Dy

Kim said...

I was wondering what exactly that was. I was reading some novels by Maeve Binchy over Christmas, and her books seem to be full of restuarants that use clotted cream. Now I know!

Circle of Quiet said...

Kate,

You make me laugh.

Scones and cream...and I am going to the grocery store this morning during piano. Can I resist? Probably not.

See you TONIGHT,
DI

Student of History said...

Di:
Life is too short to not indulge now and then. :+) Enjoy!

Janet:
Well.... OK, I will tell you. *Sometimes* I do, but mostly I do restrain myself to about half of what they show! (Usually...) :+)

Dy:
That sounds like such a lovely tradition with your children!

You ladies make my day brighter.
Kate

Student of History said...

Oh my goodness, I split an infinitive, Di, so sorry. :+)
Kate