Clotted cream is an English speciality, traditionally produced in the West Country that includes Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. It is made by heating full fat milk or cream until some of the liquids evaporate and leave behind a lightly solidified layer. Clotted cream contains a large amount of butter fat and comes in a lightly yellowish colour. Cornish clotted cream received a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status from the European Union in 1998, which safeguards the name and product from copy cats and cheaper reproductions.
Due to its thick consistency and buttery content, clotted cream is an ideal component for sauces. It can be added to juices left in a pan after frying meat or fish, and works well in dishes that include mussels. In most circumstances, it can replace traditional cream in sauces, but use less than the stated amount for cream in the recipe. A tablespoon of clotted cream can also be added to tomato sauces for use with pasta and spaghetti.
Add clotted cream to vegetables towards the end of their cooking time; it works especially well with mushrooms, peas and leeks. The vegetables can either be mashed together with the cream, or left whole. It can also add a sweet taste and creamy consistency to vegetable soups, including tomato, sweet potato and butternut squash soups, or create a cold soup when mixed with cucumbers.
Gratins and Quiches
Potato, fish and seafood gratins usually require a certain amount of milk or cream, which can easily be replaced with clotted cream. The traditional French dish of quiche uses a mixture of egg and milk to lodge the vegetable topping; substitute some of the milk with clotted cream to give the tart a fuller, creamier taste.
Desserts and Sweets
Many English ice creams contain a certain amount of clotted cream, particularly when they are produced in the Devon or Cornwall region of Southern England. Fruit salads and jellies can be served with clotted cream, and it works well when combined with sour rhubarb or redcurrant compotes. Added to chocolate it can enrich mousses and truffles, and increase the calorie count. In fudge and fudge sauces that accompany desserts, clotted cream can replace the use of traditional cream.
The most traditional application for clotted cream is to present it together with scones and jam. Additionally, it is often used as a cake topping, usually with fruit or served as an accompaniment to tarts and cakes instead of whipped cream. English cheesecake can also include clotted cream when it is mixed with cream cheese for the filling. However, clotted cream is not only suitable as an accessory, but can also be blended into the cake mixture where it can replace some of the butter and sugar content in sponge bases.