As to how clotted (or ‘clouted’) cream is made, Tim Sandles goes on to describe the historical process, smoke and all, involving scalding, blistering, and scumming. I favour slightly smoky clotted cream, with a crumbly yellow crust, that spreads like a thick paté, and doesn’t pull out in long whisps, let alone being runny (see the four examples above of different states of clotted cream). At room temperature, the flavour is strongest, runniness is not masked by cold-congealing, and freshness is potentially more likely (related to higher kitchen turnover or dedication, since warm cream can’t be kept as long).
Note well and beware: Really stiff clotted cream, weighing around 50g for a decent portion, can be nearly 300 calories, nearly all of which is fat (including a big slice of cholesterol) – perhaps half of your total daily recommended fat allowance.
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