Clotted cream is one of those phenomenal things that never fails to give me utter contentment. Slathered over freshly made, slightly warm scones and everything is perfect with the world! This is my quirky take on clotted cream, flavouring it with lemongrass.
Lemongrass is a spice I love so much and I use it in all manner of sweet and savoury dishes. I now grow it so I can have it “on tap”. I even made a lemongrass ice cream during the final of Britain’s Best Home Cook which went down particularly well with each of the judges.
Home-made clotted cream is fabulous. Seriously fabulous: thick, rich, unctous with a terrific crust. And it is so easy to make: if you can open a pot of double cream and turn on the oven, you can make your own clotted cream!
A large shallow dish
The trick to good home-made clotted cream is a large shallow oven-proof dish so that you get not much more than centimetre of cream in there.
If the cream is too deep, you end up having runny cream rather than clotted cream underneath – not a problem, as you can still use this in other dishes, but I like the whole dish to be ready-to-use clotted cream!
A slow, gentle cooking…..all day!
The cream cooks very gently in the oven at about 75C (fan) or no more than 90C (non-fan) for about 10 hours – or until the surface dries out and forms that wonderful crust that is characteristic with clotted cream. If get some runny liquid at the very bottom, just pour it away and you will still be left with a lot of lovely thick clotted cream.
The cream then needs to be chilled overnight and it is ready to be enjoyed.
Plain or flavoured clotted cream
You can make this as plain clotted cream – and plain clotted cream is still sublime: simply use just cream and no other ingredients in the recipe below.
But I do like to flavour it from time to time, with a particular favourites of mine using vanilla seeds.
For the lemongrass clotted cream, the cream is infused over a very low heat for a few minutes with crushed lemongrass stalks and left to cool. Once strained, you pour it into an ovenproof dish and you are ready to make clotted cream.
Recipe: home-made lemongrass clotted cream – makes about 1 litre
- 1 litre double cream
- 3 lemongrass stalks, crushed and coarsely chopped (or blitzed in a food procesor)
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod (optional)
(1) Put the cream and lemongrass in a large pan and gently heat until the cream is just starting to steam on top: you don’t want it to boil. Remove from the heat and leave until cool and strain through a fine sieve, pressing to extract as much flavour from the lemongrass.
(2) Stir the vanilla seeds, if using, into the flavoured cream and pour into a large shallow oven-proof dish, coming to not much more than 1cm deep – see notes above.
(3) Place in an oven pre-heated to 75C (fan) for 8-10 hours: you will see a skin on top: I sometimes go into one corner with a teaspoon to look underneath so that it is set enough: if not, cook a little longer. Remove from the oven to cool and then chill overnight. The clotted cream is now ready to use.