Last year my Scottish friend Fiona, who is an amazing cook, gave me her treasured family recipe for a sweet treat for Burns Night on 25 January, Prune & Whisky Tart and I wrote about the traditions for this special occasion. But the well-known dessert that follows the Haggis is cranachan, a mixture of toasted oats, cream, honey, whisky, and raspberries. It’s been described as Scotland’s answer to ‘Eton Mess’ but since I have a mild allergy to strawberries, you can understand that the famous King of Scottish desserts is a clear winner for me.
Where does ‘cranachan’ come from?
‘Cranachan’ is a Scottish Gaelic word meaning ‘churn’ and is also known as ‘cream crowdie’, which is a soft Scottish cheese made from cow’s milk. Together with toasted oatmeal or oats, honey, and raspberries, it was originally a breakfast dish but became a popular dessert, served all year round for special occasions.
So, it’s no surprise that it soon took pride of place at Burns Night suppers. It’s such an easy dessert to put together and you can even bring the ingredients to the table to let the guests assemble their own versions.
Here’s Fiona’s family recipe for Cranachan:
2 oz /50g medium oatmeal or rolled oats
½ pint /300mls double cream
2 tbsps single malt whiskey
2 tbsps Scottish honey
6 oz/175g raspberries (frozen will be fine, but allow time to thaw)
Toast the oatmeal/rolled oats under a hot grill, in the oven or on the hob in a frying pan for about 1–2 minutes. Whip the cream until thick and stir in the honey and malt whisky. Add the raspberries and fold in the toasted oatmeal/oats and spoon into small glasses.
Slainte Mhath! Happy Burns Night!