Clotted cream is a rich, thick cream which is said to have originated in Devon in England, and hence is sometimes called Devon cream or Devonshire cream. These days Cornwall is also known for its similar Cornwall cream. This product an integral part of the sinfully delicious Devon cream tea, which consists of tea and fresh hot scones slathered with clotted cream and jam. Don't even think of calories or fat as you eat this; think gustatory pleasure, and enjoy. Clotted cream is also wonderful spooned onto fresh fruit or pie.
Clotted cream is so thick it cannot be poured, but must be spooned out of its container. It tastes like whipped cream but without the airy texture; it is sweet and rich, akin to crème fraîche but with just the slightest sour tang. It's smooth and delicious, creamy and full.
To make authentic clotted cream, you need very creamy milk, unpasteurized, fresh from the cow; fresh milk contains friendly bacteria which will help it clot if aided by time and temperature. Pour the milk into a shallow pan and let it sit overnight; the cream will rise to the surface. Then heat the milk slowly until the surface begins to wrinkle and leave on the heat for about an hour; the milk must not be boiled at any time. Let sit in a cool place overnight and in the morning spoon the clotted cream off the surface.
If you don't have a cow, go to a health food store and buy pasteurized but not homogenized milk and heavy (35% butter fat) cream (whipping cream) that is not ultrapasteurized. Pour 1 quart (1 litre) milk and 1 cup (240 ml) cream into a heavy frying pan (not cast iron) and let sit in the fridge overnight so the cream rises. The next day, remove the frying pan without jiggling it and set it on the lowest possible heat on the stove; leave it there for 2 or 3 hours, till a very light yellow crust forms on top (this is the clot). If you have a thermometer, use it to make sure that the milk doesn't rise over 140°F (60°C); this will yield the best texture. Very carefully remove the pan and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Then carefully place it in the fridge overnight; in the morning, lift the clotted cream off the top with a spatula. It'll keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 5 days.
Finally, if all you've got is ultrapasteurized cream, either heat it in a double boiler for 2 hours, or try a kind of modified creme fraiche facsimile: combine 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream (35% butterfat), 1/3 cup (80 ml) sour cream, and 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar. Let sit for 24 hours, loosely covered, at room temperature, till thick. Cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days.