Slow Cooker British Clotted Cream – Curious Cuisiniere
British clotted cream is a lightweight, creamy and buttery cream that is the classic dressing for buns. You can make it at home in your oven, but you can also make it in your slow cooker!
Can I make clotted cream in
a slow cooker?
You all love our baked clotted cream recipe (and if you’re looking for information on what clotted cream is, that’s where you want to start), but many of you have wondered if it’s It is possible to make coagulated cream in a slow cooker.
did some testing in response to your questions, and we’re happy to be able to share with you that, yes, you can make clotted cream in a slow cooker or clay pot!
But first we need to learn a little about our slow cooker.
At what temperature does it cook a slow cooker?
This gadget may seem like a mystery cooking tool, so as part of our experiment we passed our two slow cookers through a series of tests to see exactly what they do.
Keep in mind that each slow cooker will have a slight variation in how they reach the temperature and what their target temperature is. But, everyone must exceed 160°F (71°C), which is the widely recognized safe cooking temperature.
Our largest slow cooker (a 6-quart Hamilton Beach) had a maximum temperature range of 180-200F (82-93C). Our smallest slow cooker (a 2.5-quart clay pot) had a maximum temperature range of 165-180F (74-82C).
We use a ThermoWorks Chef Alarm digital probe thermometer to keep track of these temperatures. One of the many good things about this thermometer is that it keeps track of the lower and higher temperatures it picks up when it’s on.
<img src="https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Testing-the-Slow-Cooker-4904-640.jpg" alt="Slow
cooker test for coagulated cream” />
What is the difference between high and low
in a slow cooker? Our largest slow cooker took 5 hours to reach a maximum temperature, while our smallest slow cooker took only 3 hours to reach its maximum temperature.
At high, both slow cookers took about 1 1/2 hours to reach the maximum temperature.
So how does
a slow cooker work?
The bottom line is that a slow cooker slowly heats the contents of the pot to a temperature between 165 and 200F (74-93C) for a slow period
. At HIGH, the
slow cooker will normally take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to reach the temperature. At
LOW, The slow cooker can take 3-5+ hours to reach the maximum temperature.
What does this mean for making clotted cream in the slow cooker?
To make clotted cream, you need to heat the cream over low heat for an extended period of time (about 12 hours) so that the fat separates.
The target temperature for the clotting cream is 170-180F (77-82C), which is the lower end of the cooking temperature of the slow cooker.
Once we discovered this, we had a hunch that we were on the right track and that clotted cream could be made in the slow cooker.
Then it was about creating a method that maintained the temperature where we wanted.
So here we go.
How to Make Clotted Cream in the Slow Cooker To
make clotted cream in the slow cooker
you’ll first want to fill your slow cooker with 1 inch of water, then place your cream in a glass container in the water. Add extra water so that the bowl with the cream floats lightly in the vessel. (You will monitor the water level throughout the process.)
A note on how much cream to put in the bowl. When making the oven method, your cream should be 1-2 inches deep, because the open, dry nature of the oven leads to increased evaporation. In the slow-cooker environment, evaporation is lower, so you can get away with less cream. And, less is often better because it can maintain an even temperature easier. We recommend 3/4-1 inch of cream in your bowl for the slow cook method.
Once your cream bowl is in your
water bath in your slow cooker, you can put the lid on so that it is slightly cocked to allow steam to escape and help prevent the temperature from getting too hot.
Then, you want to turn your kitchen to HIGH. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you remember while discussing how a slow cooker works, HIGH vs LOW is not about a difference in maximum temperature, but rather how long it takes to get to that temperature. We want our cream to coagulate close to 170-180 all the time, so the faster our container reaches that target temperature, the better.
And, while we’re on the subject of temperature, the BEST way to make sure you’re coagulating your cream at the right temperature is to take the ambient temperature of the slow cooker. A probe thermometer is the best way to do this (and is, in our opinion, an essential kitchen tool for making great roasts in the oven too). By keeping a probe thermometer in your kitchen while you coagulate the cream, you can be sure that you are coagulating at the correct temperature.
If you don’t have a probe thermometer, you’ll take some precautions to keep your slow cooker’s temperature at the lower end of its range, such as lifting the lid for a couple of seconds every hour and observing the color of the cream and water (to make sure it’s not boiling).
After setting up your environment, you can leave it for the first 4 hours pretty much alone. After 4 hours, you’ll want to check the water level and add HOT water so your cream bowl continues to float. (DO NOT add cold or cold water, as it could cause your vessel to crack with the impact of the temperature change.)
If you are watching the temperature, lift the lid if
you see it starting to reach 190°F (88°C), if not, go ahead and lift the lid every 2 hours
If your water starts to boil, it has reached 212F (100C) and your environment is TOO HOT. Remove the lid a little and when you return it, give it a bigger crack than you had before.
After about 3 hours, you should begin to see a developing skin on the cream. If your skin starts to change color (darken) quickly, that’s an indicator that your environment is too hot, so lift the lid or increase the crack in the lid to slightly decrease the temperature.
This will continue for 12 hours, so we recommend starting your clotted cream early enough in the morning so you can let it cool for 2 hours on the counter so it reaches room temperature.
When the clotted cream
is made, it should be slightly golden in color.
It will then continue with the normal clotted cream process of refrigerating it overnight (for 12 hours or so). So, it’s finally time to separate your clotted cream and enjoy.
<img src="https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Homemade-British-Clotted-Cream-in-the-Slow-Cooker-separation-9044-600.jpg" alt="Homemade clotted cream made in the slow cooker- cream separation"
What should the clotted cream look like?
When it’s time to separate your cream, you’ll notice two layers in your bowl. The top layer is a firmer layer that is like a soft ice cream attached to the top crust. This thicker layer will be scraped off and placed in a new container, leaving a milky liquid behind.
The thick layer can be mixed if desired. That’s your clotted cream.
If it’s too thick for your taste, you can mix some of the thin, milky liquid to achieve the consistency you want.
That thin liquid can be used as milk in any baking recipe you want. (Why not make some buns to accompany your clotted cream?)
What does clotted cream taste like?
The clotted cream has a unique flavor that is its own, it is light and buttery and oh so creamy. Like a whipped butter you meet a whipped cream cheese (without the cheese flavor).
How to use clotted
It is divine anywhere you use butter or cream cheese. In British buns, biscuits, toast, waffles (basically any bread product). It can also be used as if it were whipped cream, with berries or in a dessert.
We’ve even had readers suggest salty uses for it, anywhere you use cream, such as to make a creamy soup, or butter, like on top of sweet potatoes.
How long does
clotted cream last? Homemade clotted cream
will last up to 2 weeks in the
It is worth noting that the texture of clotted cream directly from the refrigerator will be like a firm ice cream. So if you want it to soften to spread, it is better to take it out for 10-20 minutes before using it.
making clotted cream (or any cultured dairy products like yogurt or cheese), you need to make sure your cream hasn’t been pasteurized at ultra-high temperature (UHT). The UHT process heats milk above 275F (135C) to sterilize it. (Unlike a low-temperature pasteurization that would be closer to 145-165F (67-74C).
When clotting, it aims to heat it slowly and low, so if the milk has already been heated quickly to a high temperature, the milk will often not clot properly.
(We have many readers who claim to have good luck with UHT milk, so some
may give you a little clotting, but we haven’t had good luck using UHT milk, so we can’t recommend it. If you want to try it, go ahead!)
To find cream that is not UHT pasteurized, you will need to look on the cardboard. They should be a note if the cream is UHT or just “pasteurized.” Simply pasteurized, is what you are looking for. We’ve had good luck with Dean’s heavy whipped cream (pictured above).
While making clotted cream in the slow cooker isn’t as easy as using the oven method, it creates a more controlled environment and is a great choice for those of you whose oven doesn’t go down as low as necessary for clotting cream.
And the results are spectacular.