Is there a difference between Clotted and Double Devon Cream? Well, yes. Actually, there is. You will often find that the two names are used interchangeably, but there is quite a difference between Devonshire Clotted Cream and Double Devon Cream. This was quite confusing to me until I visited Devonshire, England, several years ago.
Devonshire is in the south of England, on the coast, and well known for it’s very rich and creamy dairy products. The family I stayed with in Devonshire knew that I was a tea fanatic and that I was greatly looking forward to having Devonshire Clotted Cream in Devonshire. So my hostess ordered some fresh Clotted Cream to be delivered with her dairy products while I was visiting. She told me about the history of Clotted Cream as I ate spoonfuls on homemade scones.
Clotted Cream — Fresh Clotted Cream is impossible to find in the US. That’s because it’s a very specialized art, and requires a Jersey cow that produces a rich, fatty milk. The only Devonshire Clotted Cream you will find is imported in jars. But in England it is delivered fresh.
The process of making Clotted Cream is very extensive. It begins with fresh cow’s milk. It is set into a pan where it is only a few inches thick and is left out overnight to settle. In the days gone past, it was then set next to the wood stove – or now, in warming areas, for another 6-12 hours. During this time, it sours a bit, and the cream forms a bit of a skin and turns yellowy and clotted. Then, it is carefully scooped from the top of pan and stored for a time in a cool place (preferably in a refrigerator)
Because of this unique process, many recipes in the US have been developed, trying to emulate Clotted Cream. Some US tea rooms serve whipped cream. Others mix sour cream with cream or mascarpone with whipped cream. These are good, but don’t come close to fresh Clotted Cream or even the processed, sealed clotted cream we can occasionally find in the US.
When you buy Clotted Cream in a jar, you must stir it a bit, but do not worry if it looks a bit yellow. After the first few servings, if you haven’t used it all up, it can be stored for awhile in the fridge.
Double Devon Cream — Double Devon cream is just as it sounds. It is the creamiest of the cream from the Devonshire Jersey cow! It’s really not whipped – it’s just so thick that a knife can stand up in it! It comes close to butter, but has a unique creamy flavor that differs from butter.
When you buy this in a jar, you may find a bit of separation. Do not worry, just open, stir and mix and it will turn back into an easily spreadable consistency. Unused portions can also be stored in the fridge, but will be almost too thick to spread on a soft scone, so you may need to let it sit out a bit.
Choosing between Clotted Cream and Devonshire Cream — I’m quite partial to Clotted Cream myself. The slight souring mixed with the sweet cream and the soft texture is my favorite topping on a scone. Actually, I’ll top it on a crumpet or even a croissant or English Muffin!
However, the Devonshire cream is such a unique delight that I’m afraid you will have to try both to decide which you personally prefer. Try it on anything you would tend to spread butter on and see for yourself what a treat it is!
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