A Cream Tea for my Sweetie Pie

Tuesday 15 February 2011

In honor of Valentine's Day for my sweetie pie I made the Toddster a Traditional Cream Tea. I do love him an awful lot and I like to spoil him whenever I can. He is really a very easy person to please and doesn't ask much of me. He truly is my sweetie pie.

You will find "Cream Teas" on offer throughout the UK, but they are truly a speciality of the SouthWest . . . Devon and Cornwall areas. I have seen Welsh Cream Teas as well as Cream Teas being offered in many other areas of the UK. In general nowadays, they are offered in Tearooms across the UK wherever someone wants to give an impression of British influence.

A traditional cream tea is comprised of two fresh scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream and a cup of hot tea. I like to use Sultana Scones. You can find my recipe for those HERE. I promise you, they are delicious!

If you don't have homemade strawberry jam or preserves (the best), then you should use a really good quality store bought variety. I like to use Bon Maman or TipTree preserves, because they have lots of lovely chunks of berries in them.

What is clotted Cream:

Rich, thick and indulgent, clotted cream is a delicious cream with the consistency of soft butter. Produced on many Dairy Farms in SouthWest England, it is made by placing un-pastuerized milk in shallow pans over indirect heat. Once warmed it is then left to cool slowly, without disturbing. The cream then rises to the surface and forms 'clots' or 'clouts. It has a nutty, cooked milk flavour, with at least 55 per cent butter fat, giving it a pale yellow colour that is often topped with a deeper yellow crust. It is an essential ingredient in a true "Cream Tea," and makes a fabulously tasty and rich filling for a sponge cake, especially when layered with fresh fruit. It also makes wonderful ice cream!

It's impossible for us to send true clotted cream over to North America because of regulations and such, but it is possible for you to make your own, if you wish. There is a long way . . . and an easy way, (which isn't really clotted cream at all, but tastes pretty good just the same)!

The long way:
Take two cups of heavy cream and heat it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until reduced by half. It should be thick and creamy and have a golden crust on top.

The easy way:
Beat 8 ounces of cream cheese until fluffy, then whisk in 4 ounces of sour cream and 2 TBS of icing sugar. Put into a serving bowl and chill until ready to use.

We always have herbal tea with ours, because we are Mormons and don't drink regular tea, but having worked as a Chef in a Manor House for many years, I do know how to make a proper cup of tea . . .

One of the biggest complaints of English people visiting the United States is that Americans don’t know how to make "proper" tea. Here’s the proper way to do it, and it doesn't involve dipping a tea bag into a cup and covering it with boiling water . . .

You must first fill a kettle and bring it to the boil. Just before your kettle has reached boiling point, pour a little hot water into the teapot and allow it to stand for about a minute so that the pot is warm. Empty out the hot water from the nicely warmed pot and put in loose tea or tea bags, whichever you prefer.

When the water is boiling (and not before) pour it onto the tea in the teapot. Leave to brew for 3 or 4 minutes and stir it well before you pour it out into hot cups.

Serve with milk, sugar and lemon wedges and let people add as they please. It is a matter of debate as to whether you add the milk to the cup before the tea, or the tea before the milk.

How to assemble your Cream Tea:

Cover your table with a pretty cloth. Set a nice tea plate and warm cup and saucer out for each person, along with a knive and a teaspoon for each. Pretty napkins are a must as well.

Put your clotted cream in a decorative bowl and your preserves in another bowl. Place a tiny spoon in each for serving. Set these out on the table, along with a china plate of fresh sultana scones and warm tea cups. Place the teapot filled with hot tea on the table as well, and then let people help themself to the scones, preserves and clotted cream. (The scones are always served at room temperature and never warm)

Each person splits their own scones in half, then covers one half with a thick dollop of clotted cream and then the other haf with a nice layer of strawberry jam. I like my cream on the bottom, but there are others that like their cream on the top! It's all a matter of personal preference and upbringing!

Pour out your hot cup of tea . . . sit back . . . and enjoy!

Ahhhh . . . Cream Teas . . . they are my only weakness . . . sigh . . .


  1. You must have read my mind. I was just reading about cream teas the other day and wondering how to make my scones like the ones I saw in the picture. Then, today I see yours and it's exactly what I wanted. This whole spread looks absolutely lovely.

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmm Scrumptious, you sparked off some delightful memories of holidays down in Devon and Cornwall. Thank you Marie:)

  3. THANK YOU for sharing the clotted cream methods. I've always wondered about this as I've never seen it here. You have a very a lucky man, indeed!

  4. Don't forget Somerset - famous for its cream teas!

    If you're eating your cream tea in Somerset or Devon, you'd put the clotted cream onto the scone first, followed by a blob of jam. In Cornwall, you'd spread jam on the scone first and then top it with cream!

  5. Ahhh . . . yes . . . beautiful Somerset! Thanks for reminding me Allie!!

  6. You may have saved my marriage! I imported my husband to the States from England and I know nothing about English cooking! He is loving the treats I have found here. Thank you!!

  7. I have had cream teas several times when traveling in the UK, so I thoroughly enjoyed this post - it brought back lots of memories. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Now c'mon Marie, I know from reading your posts that cream teas aren't your ONLY weakness! haha...You love so many of the good foods you post here!
    I loved your post about cream tea and found the explanation about what clotted cream was interesting. I just knew it was REALLY fattening! I'll have to try your scone recipe, though mine taste good, sometimes they crumble apart to easily.
    Thanks for the great explanation about all of it!

  9. You're so good to us..and Todd:)

    I made a cake for my husband.. written..Mon Amour..and the words melted..so he got the cake..:) and funny looking words..but no photos..Glad you always come trhough with flying colors:)

  10. Delicious! You have put my non marking of Valentine's Day to shame!

  11. Wonderful, Marie! I think I'll have to try making the clotted cream--sounds irrisitable! How sweet of your to do this for Todd--I'm sure he loved it!

    I loved your mention of it being "your only weakness"...sounds familiar (Lark Rise?!)

    Hope your day is wonderful, my dear friend! Sending you so much love this chilly, rainy California day...


  12. Nothing like a cream tea to lift the spirits! And especially during the depths of winter. ;o) I love real clotted cream, but I do make a mock cream much like your own recipe here--it really makes a different cream & jam for the scones. Wish we could be there to share this cream tea with you. Maybe one day--I love to hope! :o) Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  13. Thanks for the reminder of a couple of wonderful years in England complete with many many visits to tearooms for cream teas! I have some quilting friends coming over tomorrow and may just surprise them with this!

  14. dear Marie, you are gonna make me do it, aren't you?...Goodness, you are going to make me make clotted cream the long way...ahhhh. I can only imagine how your authentic cream tea would make me swoon if the cream tea I had at Kensington's Orangerie sent me into heart skips. I love cream tea and this Texas family can certainly appreciate your tea time tips. I love your site and came across it as I was researching "Rock Cakes" ala Harry Potter. THank you for all the good eats and your fabulous blog! Your hubby is well cared for.

  15. Oh how i love thee clotted cream!!! Best enjoyed on a scone with jam of course, what a treat for valentines day. Todd is a lucky man ;0)

  16. Oh my gosh Marie, you're killing me with this beautiful post. My favorite, yes my favorite thing in this world is a big dollop of clotted cream perched on top of a warm scone smeared liberally with little scarlets preserves. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Unfortunately there isn't any real clotted cream here in the US but I promise I will try making my own, the long way of course.

  17. Ah, memories of my trip to England three years ago! We indulged in cream teas twice while over there. Longing for another trip over!

  18. What a sweet post and lovely presentation as always.


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