We have just travelled back to France after spending Christmas in the UK with our family. While there, we did a bit of shopping to bring back some of the delicious goodies that we miss so much while in France: tea bags, baked beans, Marmite, mince pies, the list goes on.

Our French neighbour Rémi simply adores scones and clotted cream. He enjoyed his first afternoon tea in a lovely tea room in Bourton-on-the-Water a few years ago and has been a great fan ever since. As he is such a kind neighbour (he looks after our house and feeds our hens while we’re away), we thought this would make a very nice thank you present. We bought him two packs of delicious all-butter scones made with Cornish buttermilk and clotted cream (yum!) as well as two large tubs of classic Cornish clotted cream.

Tub of Crème d'Isigny

We regularly travel back and forth between France and the UK, which is always quite an expedition, as there is so much to pack. However, I am generally very organised and rarely forget anything. Well, would you believe it? As soon as we arrived home, I excitedly lifted the lid of our cool box to take out the clotted cream and guess what? It wasn’t there!

The cogs started turning… What on earth? What happened? Am I going mad? I could swear I had put them in the cool box!

Well, obviously not. I remembered taking them out of the fridge and after that, I have no recollection. No wonder there was some room left in the box!

This means two things: first, poor Rémi is expected to eat dry scones with only jam (at least I didn’t forget the jam. Even though I much prefer French jam, partly because Bonne Maman is much cheaper in France, I thought it would be better to treat him to some lovely British strawberry conserve to enjoy his scones). Second, what will happen to the two tubs of clotted cream left sitting outside of the fridge for months on end? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Tub of Whipping cream with Mascarpone cheese

I couldn’t do anything about the cream sitting in the kitchen in England, but I could certainly try and find a replacement for my clotted cream in France. My first step was to Google clotted cream: the result was crème caillée or crème fleurette. Hmmm… not sure. Where on earth would I find crème caillée? As for crème fleurette, it just seemed a bit too runny. So I browsed the net and found a forum where someone suggested whipping up some mascarpone cheese with a touch of cream. That sounded rather like a good idea. Even better, I actually found some in our local Leclerc supermarket.

I also bought a tub of crème d’Isigny, purely because it looked nice and thick. I gave those to Rémi with the promise to do better next time and bring him back the real thing. In the meantime, I can’t wait to find out what he thinks of these 2 alternatives. Will they do the job?

Editor’s Note

Clotted cream is a delicious dairy delicacy originating in the South West of England. It is renowned for its rich and velvety texture, making it a beloved accompaniment to various desserts, scones, and even fruit. To make clotted cream, unpasteurized cow’s milk is gently heated and then left to cool slowly in shallow pans. During this slow cooling process, the cream naturally rises to the surface and forms a thick, golden layer. This layer, known as clots, is carefully skimmed off and preserved, resulting in the delectable cream that is so loved. The long, slow cooking method lends it a unique, slightly caramelized flavour and a consistency that is thicker than traditional whipped cream.

Now, for the inevitable question: How do you serve it? Is it scone, clotted cream, and jam or scone, jam, and clotted cream? How do you serve yours? Please let us know in the comments box below (by the way, we don’t really have a preference as both are equally delicious).

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