First a warning: this recipe does not meet food safety standards anywhere. This recipe is provided for entertainment purposes only.*
This version is based loosely on Episode 9 of BBC’s Edwardian Farm in a segment called “Devon County Dairy Board School.” Cooking the cream over milk instead of separating makes this Farmhouse style Devonshire Cream.
Traditionally Devonshire cream is cooked “on the back of the stove” meaning long time and low temperature. An old caution is “if it boils, it spoils.”
Place raw milk, still warm from the cow in a Crockpot with a ceramic liner.
Adding culture is optional. Gently mix in one ounce of Flor Danica prepared culture or 1/8th teaspoon of Flor Danica DVI culture powder per gallon of milk. Do not over-stir.
Allow milk to sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. This allows the cream to rise and the bacteria to grow. Wait until your cream layer appears thick.
Turn the Crockpot to the setting required to maintain a temperature between 175o and 195o F. Cook uncovered. Do NOT stir. Do NOT allow to boil. After many hours, 8 in my attempt, the cream’s surface will have a wavy texture, and a buttery color, the edges will have a light brown tinge.
Turn off heat. Allow cream and milk to cool thoroughly – several hours or overnight. Do NOT cover.
Using a skimmer, gently lift sections of the cream layer off the surface of the milk. Allow any excess milk to drip off before gently sliding the rounds of cream into a stack in a small glass dish.
Chill thoroughly (several hours or overnight). Serve traditionally at your next “Cream Tea” over sliced strawberries (or jam) and plain biscuits (rounds or scones).
*DISCLAIMER: The State of Virginia’s Health Department believes if you eat this you are going to die. I didn’t even ask. So, if you do, it’s not my fault.
Lately, I’ve been milking once a week more often than once a day because I’ve been traveling so much. this is mostly a recycled post from a few years ago. I’ve changed some practices and beliefs based on conversations with other dairy-people.
Later in lactation, the babies are separated from the moms for half a day. “Half a day” can be anywhere from 6 to 14 hours. I am so glad Devons have not heard that milking must be at rigid times and equal intervals, that just couldn’t happen here.
Another factor in milk production is diet. Forage – grass and hay and occasional vegetables make up the cows’ diet. I sometimes add alfalfa in the form of pellets, hay or silage. (I do use a dairy pellet if I am feeding young calves that don’t have fully developed rumens. Milk production in most cows is limited by their diet. Some cows are unable to slow their production to protect themselves from loss of body condition through milk production. Cows like that have to be fed concentrated feeds to remain healthy. Fortunately, the Milking Devon still has the ability to match her production to her diet.
The farm is called HineSite partly as a wordplay on husband Bob’s last name and as an acknowledgment that I learn primarily from making mistakes. I have learned a lot in the last few years, fortunately not all through personal experience.