Devonshire cream, also called Devon cream or clotted cream, is a common dairy product in England. It is possible to obtain it in the United States at some specialty stores or by ordering it from a dairy purveyor. This style of cream is extremely rich, with a high dairy fat content that makes it well suited to spreading on biscuits, cookies, and scones, or serving with berries for a creamy dessert treat. In appearance, it is very thick and often includes small clots or globules of dairy fat. The color is a pale creamy yellow.
The cream is produced in the Southwestern part of England, in the counties of Somerset, Cornwall, and Devon. It is traditionally made by allowing unpasteurized milk to sit for six to 12 hours, depending on ambient temperature, and then heating it to 180° Fahrenheit (82° Celsius) for an hour. A thick layer of clotted cream coagulates on top and is skimmed off for Devonshire cream after being allowed to rest for several hours. More than half the content is dairy fat, so it is not recommended for those on diets.
There are many recipes for making a mock Devonshire cream, usually integrating rich cheeses like Mascarpone or Neufchatel. These cheeses can be mixed with heavy cream or milk to form a thick, clotted creamy spread, although it doesn't taste quite the same. Devonshire cream has a faintly scalded flavor from the heat treatment process, with sweet caramelized notes as well, which is difficult to reproduce.
If stored in a sealed jar, Devonshire cream will keep quite well and has a very stable shelf life. It tends to taste better fresh, but is often available in glass jars overseas. These jars should be stored in a dark, cool, dry place to prolong the life of the cream, and when opened, it should be used as quickly as possible. Many producers now use pasteurized milk, because it is perceived to be safer, and the jar labeling will indicate this. Devonshire cream made with pasteurized milk tastes much the same as conventional cream, although it lacks the slightly sour note that some consumers favor.
Devonshire cream can be used in baking and will enrich the flavor of most recipes that call for cream, such as scones. It can also be blended with fruit such as raspberries or strawberries for a creamy fruit spread, or enhanced with the addition of extracts like almond and vanilla. As with any dairy product, it should not be eaten if it smells odd or shows significant color changes.