Preparation / Directions:
Thick rich eastern Mediterranean "kaymaki" (literally, "frothy cream") is unique, but two more readily available products have a similar flavor and texture. Imported English clotted (Devon) cream and Italian mascarpone cheese both make good substitutes, or you can make your own. Make this when you plan to be in the kitchen for a couple of hours - for an even smooth texture and a thick crust you need to stir the hot cream at regular intervals. Be sure to use meticulously clean utensils and keep the cooking heat very low (or use a heat diffuser mat). Kaymaki should be made at least 18 hours before you need it; it can be stored for up to a week.
Slowly bring the cream almost to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to as low as possible, or place the saucepan on a heat diffuser mat. Lift a ladleful of cream about 12 inches above the saucepan, and pour it back in a thin steady stream; repeat 2 or 3 times. Repeat this procedure every 10 minutes or so over the next 1-1/2 hours, and stir the cream occasionally to make sure it does not stick.
Leave the cream undisturbed over the lowest heat for 30 minutes longer; it will have reduced by at least two thirds. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool.
Loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for 2 hours.
Remove the kitchen towel, tightly cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
Cut the crust on top of the cream into 1-inch-wide strips. Gently fold one end of a strip over the handle of a wooden spoon and roll it up (cut in half if the roll becomes too thick or unwieldy), and slide off onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining strips. The remaining kaymaki will have the texture of thick airless cream. It can be refrigerated in a tightly covered container of up to 1 week; refrigerate the rolls for up to 3 days.
Note: Serve kaymaki rolls on their own or with desserts such as Kataifi Nut Rolls or Almond Cake. Kaymaki cream can be added to ice cream or rice pudding for an especially good flavor. Or whisk it together with a little sweet wine or lemon juice for a perfect accompaniment to fresh or poached fruit or sweet pastries.
Source: Flavors of Greece - by Rosemary Barron ISBN: 0-688-07087-6