Clotted cream is my weakness and I’ve been known to plough my way through an entire tub, armed with a spoon, as if eating yoghurt. I’m also a fan of any efficient catalyst for ferrying this delectable West Country treat into my mouth. Of course scones are the obvious, but on a recent trip to Devon I sampled an old and often forgotten teatime indulgence, The Devonshire Split. Having become entirely enamoured with this light and delicious bun, I immediately set about making my own, along with a giant tub of homemade clotted cream and a seasonally appropriate batch of blackberry jam.
Ingredients (Makes about 14):
450g strong white flour, 30g dried active yeast, 50g caster sugar, 300ml water, 80g unsalted butter, 50ml single cream, 50ml milk
Jam, clotted cream and fresh berries to serve
Warm the butter, milk, cream and water together in a heavy bottomed saucepan. The mixture should be warmed to roughly 30C. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast. Add the yeast to the cream mixture and make sure it fully dissolves.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the cream mixture. Mix to form a soft dough, first with a knife, then using your hands. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for roughly 12 minutes, until it becomes smooth.
Leave to prove in a warm place, covered with a slightly damp tea towel, until double in size. Knock back the dough and divide into 14 equal pieces. shape into rolls, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6, and bake the rolls for 10 – 12 minutes until slightly golden.
Leave to cool slightly, then split the rolls and fill with clotted cream, jam and fresh berries.
Homemade Clotted Cream
600ml double/heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 80C/180F/Gas Mark ¼
Put the dish, uncovered, in the middle of the oven and leave for 12 hours or overnight. The oven must be on the whole time.
Remove the dish from the oven and leave to cool before covering with cling film and refrigerating. Leave for a further 8 hours, by which time the cream will have thickened and is ready to serve.
Ingredients (single batch)
200g blackberries, 200g preserving sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp butter
Hand picked blackberries should be soaked in salted water for a few hours to clean and remove any bugs. After soaking rinse in clean water.
Put the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice into a large saucepan and place over a low heat.
Stir the sugar into the blackberries until completely dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally. A light froth should appear as the fruit boils. (Do not increase the heat to boil quickly. The key is a gentle boil).
Place the butter on top of the fruit and stir across the top. This should break down the froth, but if if you still have excess then scoop out the frothy bubbles with a spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat and decant the mixture into a clean jar. Allow to cool and then refrigerate.