Clotted Cream

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Clotted cream, a close cousin to butter, is a wonderful delicacy that originated (and is predominantly found) in the British Isles.  It’s fairly easy to make, if you have the luxury of time; the actual work involved entails only a few minutes, but it cooks for many hours.  And, of course, it’s found in Middle-earth, in Beorn’s hall:

At last Gandalf pushed away his plate and jug – he had eaten two whole loaves (with masses of butter and honey and clotted cream) and drunk at least a quart of mead – and he took out his pipe. {1}


I used clotted cream as a substitute for butter in a buttercream frosting recipe similar to this one.  It’s also delicious spread on bread, scones, and toast, preferably with a bit of jam!

To make clotted cream, all you need is a warm oven.  The oven should be set to around 180 F (82 C) – many ovens will have a “warm” setting, but an in-oven thermometer is key here to ensure the proper temperature.  Take at least 1 pint of pasteurized or unpasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized!) heavy cream, and pour it into a large dish.  The depth of the liquid in the dish should be around 1″ (2-3 cm) – surface area is key here.  Leave in the oven for at least 8 hours (I cook mine for 12 or more) until a thick layer of clotted cream forms at the top.  There may be some oil at the top as well; this is perfectly normal!

Skim the clotted cream from the top and put it in a bowl to cool, mixing with a fork to homogenize it.  Refrigerate and enjoy!


  1. The Hobbit, p. 118 []

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