Cranachan & shortbread

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
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This is a variation of the traditional Scottish dessert, often served at Harvest festivals. The secret of the dish is not to sweeten the cream but to allow the toasted oatmeal to develop a nutty flavour, making a beautiful contrast with the jam.

Serves 4


½ pint double cream

8 oz blackcurrant jam

½ cup medium oatmeal

Dash Creme de Cassis (opt)

Melt the jam mixed with creme de cassis over a medium heat, adding extra whole berries if you like. Toast the oatmeat under a slow grill making sure the oatmeal doesn't brown - just let the flavour mature.

Add half the toasted oatmeal to the cream and whip to a full consistancy. Pour the jam into wine glasses and fill with the cream mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the oatmeal on top. The jam should still be warm when the dish is served, contrasting with the cream.

Serve with shortbread then sit back and smile smugly at guests' compliments.

Variations: Any harvest fruit instead of blackcurrant. To accent the nutty flavour of the toasted oatmeal, add crushed hazelnuts.

"Traditional" Cranachan


Also known as Caledonian Ice, Iced Stapag and Cream Crowdie.

Serves 4


1 pint double cream

2 tablespoons castor sugar

½ cup coarse oatmeal

Dash Drambuie or whisky Blackcurrants to taste (opt) Whip the cream, add sugar and whisky. Freeze until edges crystalise.

Toast the oatmeal and mix it through the iced cream mixture, return to the freezer and freeze until solid. Remove iced cream half an hour before serving.

If you're using blackcurrants or other berries, serve them fresh with the iced cream and shortbread.



Shortbread is a commonplace cake in Scotland, often served with scones and other cakes for afternoon tea.

The usual shape of shortbread is round flat ¼" - ½" thick cakes with the edges pinched with the finger and thumb to form sunrays - a tradition which is thought to have arisen from pre-christian sunworship. It is also baked into 4" x ½" x ¼" fingers.

Shortbread is mandatory at Christmas and Hogmany (New Year's Eve), when it is served with whisky. However, it should be noted that the shortbread is not a pre-requisite for the whisky on these occasions...

From: Sam Lefkowitz Date: 08-09-95 (14:53) (164) Fido: Home Co

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