back in 1796 a Mr. Marshall published a book entitled 'The Rural
Economy of the West of England'. He recorded a chapter on 'Dairy
Management' in which he wrote, in some detail, on the way milk was
scalded to produce 'CLOUTED CREAM'.
He related how the milk was first put into 'broad pans and vessels
of brass or earthenware, stood for some hours, then placed over
a gentle heat until the milk approached boiling heat, the proper
heat being indicated by pimples and blisters rising to the surface
of the cream'.
clotted cream - made the traditional way
method is still employed on many Devonshire farms, where a cream
pan is always stood in another slightly larger pan which contains
boiling water - scalding the cream we call it.
On NO account must the milk be allowed to boil or it will mar the
whole process and all that will be left is a thin skin.
Mr Marshall continued by stating that cream when cooled is called
'scalded cream' or 'clouted cream', the later possibly describing
the tough cloth-like texture which it acquires by this process.
(Clout = Cloth. Remember the old saying 'Cast not a clout till May
The cream remains thus on the milk - which is rendered 'very sheer
lean and blue' by the process until needed to make butter or eaten
The clouts or rags of cream were thrown into a large wooden bowl
and stirred by a circuitous motion of the hand and arm until the
particles unite, leaving a small quantity of liquid called Butter
The solid mass could be turned into butter.
Fruits Of The Land
The origins of this method can be traced back to early farming
days when the milk of two or three cows could be used for such a
varied production of cheese, butter and cream - and the milk (by
the aid of fire and heat) could be preserved for longer than fresh
milk would keep (early pasteurisation?)
Marshall continued by mentioning 'Juncates', or junkets, as another
peculiarity to the county.
Warm the milk, add a little rennet, so simple and delicious. Now
then you Restaurateurs and high flying chefs, let us have Junket
and Cream on the menu - and real cream at that! Now known as Clotted
Cream - perhaps we should revert to the old name of Clouted Cream.
cream compliments so many different foods
not forget the traditional Devon Cream Tea of scones, cream and
strawberry jam. I knew an old farmer when I was just a 'Buye' who
every day for breakfast had bread, cream and honey. He called it
"Fruits of the Land".
He was right of course. Bread from the grain, cream from the cow
and honey from that prolific worker the Honey Bee!
In Deb'm us puts the cream on the scone or bread first and the jam
or honey on top. If you have neither jam nor honey, put on Golden
Syrup and that's called "thunder and lightning".
My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
you soon. Yer old mate, Tony.