Scones with Clotted Cream
If you’ve visited England, you no doubt are familiar with that wonderful creamy buttery condiment known as clotted cream or Devonshire cream ( if that’s where you are enjoying it). I fell in love with it. All right, one would be hard pressed to think of anything richer, but I’m making no apologies. It’s unique and it’s heavenly. It’s stiffer than whipped cream, sweet, but not too sweet and slightly tart, making it the perfect spread for scones, crumpets, muffins, toast, etc. It’s sold in 6 oz. jars imported from England, but if you want to taste the fresh version, you’ll have to make it yourself. The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to make, having only one ingredient. Of course, you have to find that one ingredient. Heavy cream. But it must not be ultra pasteurized, just pasteurized. I get it at my local farmers market. Mrs. Green’s and Trader Joe’s also carry it.
It does take time, at least 16 hours, but the active prep time is only a few minutes. Know in advance that you will wind up with somewhat less than half the amount you start out with. A pint and a half of heavy cream will make at least a cup of clotted cream. Pour cream into a non-reactive pan with a lid. It should come up at least 2 or 3 inches from the bottom. Set your oven for 180 degrees. Make sure it is no warmer than that. Cover the pan and place in oven for 8 hours. Let cream come to room temperature and then place in refrigerator for 8 hours. A thick, slightly yellowish curd should have formed on top. This is the clotted cream. Scrape if off with a perforated spoon and into another container and there you have it! The remaining milk on the bottom is still usable in baking. If you are asking is it worth it? The answer is yes. At least I think so.
Raisin, Dried Cranberry and Pecan Scones
(Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
2 cups flour, plus 1 T
1 T sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
6 T cold unsalted butter, diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ c heavy cream
2 T raisins
2 T dried cranberries
2 T chopped pecans
1 egg beaten with 2 T milk for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter at very low speed until it is pea-sized. Mix together the eggs and heavy cream and add quickly to the butter/flour mixture. Combine just until blended. Combine the raisins, dried cranberries and pecans with 1 T flour. Add to mixture and combine quickly.
Turn out onto a floured surface. It will be sticky, but pat together with floured hands into a 9-inch square. Dough should be between ¾ and 1-inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut into 4 squares. Then cut each square on a diagonal. Place on a cookie sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper.
Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, preferably raw sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and crisp and done on the insides. Makes 8 scones.