What is a cream tea? It is not tea with cream in it. It is a type of afternoon tea meal. A cream tea, Devonshire tea or Cornish cream tea is tea taken with a combination of scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. In some instances whipped cream is used. In Devon, they split the scone, spread with clotted creme and top with jam. In Cornwall, they spread the jam first then top with clotted creme.
Now, we Americans ask: what is clotted cream? Clotted cream is not made in the United States because we pasteurize our milk. It is made when unpasteurized milk is indirectly heated and cooled in shallow containers. Clots form as it cools and the cream rises. The fat content is at least 55% or higher. You can buy imported clotted cream in the U.S. The Devon Company from Corsham, England exports English Double Devon Cream. It has a yellowish color.
You also can make your own clotted cream. I found this recipe from the a Little Jaftig.com blog.
2 pints heavy cream preferably with a high fat content and not ultra pasteurized. (Like Cedar Summit Farms)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Pour cream into deep oven safe dish (at least 3 or more inches deep)
Cover and bake 8-12 hours or until the cream has formed a thick, yellow skin.
Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for eight hours.
Skim the yellow clotted cream from the top and serve. You can use the cream that remains below for baking. Yields 1 cup clotted cream.
greatbritishchefs.com because you can see both the Devon tradition and the Cornwall version on a muffin.
Creme tea is an afternoon tradition in England that began in the eighteenth century when Duchess of Bedford would order tea to revive her flagging spirits. You may read a very interesting history of afternoon tea here.
The other two ladies were with our tour on a day trip from London. During the train ride to and from the lake country these ladies were so interesting and enjoyable. One was an american expat living in London and the other was from Omaha and this was her fourth or fifth trip to London.
The grounds were beautiful but I digress.
Another debate is: which comes first the creme or the tea? According to www.afternoontoremember.com milk goes in after tea. Sugar is placed in cup first, then thinly sliced lemon and never milk and lemon together.
The teacups pictured above will be brought to the table and their story shared too. There wasn't room on the tray for all the teacups.
Antiques for the Table.
These are antique tea caddy spoons! They are so beautiful and I would love to have one. I looked them up on Ebay but they do not fit into my budget!
We had a special younger guest that was adorable. She enjoyed her tea too!
Maxine brought three teacups from her childhood all carefully glued back together.
I hope you might take this idea and plan a get together with your friends. It can be simple or as elaborate as your time will allow.
Tea was served from the beautiful white teapot that has a story too. Stay tuned.
Thank you for staying with me because I know this post has gotten rather long. I will share the food I served and recipes in my next post and maybe a few stories.
I hope if you didn't know what a crème tea was you do now. To recap, it is not tea with cream in it. It is a type of afternoon meal having tea with scones, clotted cream and jam.
Linking to :Wow Us Wednesday, Tablescape Thursday,
and Open House Party Thursday.