♔Cranachan- Scottish Dessert

Cranachan (“CRAH-nuh-kun.”) is an ancient Scottish dish traditionally eaten on Burns Night following the feast of haggis.

A delicious Scottish dessert made with a local soft cheese called Crowdie, cream, raspberries, honey, whisky, and oats.

Originally a summer dish, (before the days of refrigeration), and often consumed around harvest time (the Scottish raspberry harvest is in June) but now is more likely to be served all year, or on special occasions such as Burns Night.

Crowdie— a soft and spreadable cheese, similar to ricotta or cottage cheese— is the dessert’s key to success.

In the lowlands of Scotland, Crowdie was a raw mixture of oatmeal and water, or buttermilk, it was only in the highlands that Crowdie referred to cream cheese. Robert Burns, being from southern Scotland, referred to Crowdie as a breakfast dish (See: The Holy Fair, by Robert Burns).

A popular breakfast in old days was to mix Crowdie, (commonly known then as Cream Crowdie), with local honey & lightly toasted oatmeal: Oats were a staple diet in Scotland and many of the dishes cooked included oats.” Says Fiona Burrell, owner of the Edinburgh Newtown Cookery School;  she continues, “It would be mixed up together and wouldn’t be too thick. Raspberries, when in season, might be added to this.”

The pudding is best assembled just before serving to prevent the oats becoming soggy. The traditional way to serve Cranachan is to bring dishes of each ingredient to the table so that each person can assemble their dessert to taste. Tall dessert glasses are often used to serve.

Recipe (Edinburgh New Town Cookery School)

1/2 cup pinhead (steel-cut) oats
17 oz. double (or heavy) cream
1/2 cups fresh raspberries
plus extra to decorate
3 Tbsp. of whisky mixed
with 3 Tbsp. warm
heather honey

To decorate:

18 fresh raspberries
1 extra Tbsp. warm heather honey for the top.

Put the oatmeal in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until it is toasted and brown. Put on a plate to cool.

Whip the cream until it only just holds its shape. Mix the raspberries with the whisky
and the honey.

Put a spoonful of the raspberries in six glass dishes and cover with some cream. Scatter over some oatmeal and layer again with raspberries, cream, and oatmeal. Finish with a layer of cream and decorate with three raspberries.
Drizzle some honey on the top. Chill for an hour before serving.


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