Clotted cream is a thick cream obtained by heating milk slowly in shallow pans and then allowing it to cool while the cream content rises to the top in clots or coagulated lumps. It has a minimum fat content of 55 per cent. It is particularly associated with southwest England, and visitors to Devon and Cornwall are certain to have large quantities of the creamy-yellow cholesterol-rich substance pressed on them, either as part of the traditional cream tea, to be dollopped liberally on jammy scones, or in little tubs to be taken home or posted to friends. Until the nineteenth century it was known as clouted cream (Edmund Spenser in his Shepherd's Calendar (1579) records how Dido would give the shepherd boy ‘Curds and clouted Creame’), in which the clout represents a now obsolete word for ‘lump, clod’ that came from the same Germanic base as clot and was actually used in the plural in Middle English for ‘cream curds’: ‘Put thereto cream, and if it be in clouts, draw it through a strainer,’ directs a cookery book of around 1430.
Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.