Sunday, September 27, 2009

Guest Post: Cranachan

It is with great pleasure that I bring you a guest post by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen
I meet her on the UK food bloggers association, she has a lovely blog full of great British food, she lives on a farm in Scotland. This is a traditional Scottish dessert, and as you all know I grew up in Scotland its a great country, rich in history and amazing natural beauty.


Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary traditions because oats are better suited than wheat to the short, wet growing season. Therefore, it became the staple grain of that country. Ancient Scottish Universities had a holiday called Meal Monday, to permit students to return to their farms and collect more oats for food.

Samuel Johnson referred, disparagingly, to this in his dictionary definition for oats: "Agrain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people." His biographer, James Boswell, noted that Lord Elibank was said by Sir Walter Scott to have retorted, "Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?"[7]

A common alternative method of cooking oatmeal in Scotland is to soak it overnight in salted water and cook on a low heat in the morning for a few minutes until the mixture thickens.

In Scotland, oatmeal is created by grinding oats into a coarse powder. Various grades are available depending on the thoroughness of the grinding, including Coarse, Pin(head) and Fine oatmeal. The main uses are:

  • Traditional porridge (or "porage")
  • Brose: a thick mixture made with uncooked oatmeal and butter or cream; eaten like porridge but much more filling.
  • Rolled oats, crushed oats, and other "instant" variations are often used for this purpose nowadays, since they are quicker to prepare.
  • Gruel, made by mixing oatmeal with cold water which is then strained and heated for the benefit of infants and people recovering from illness.
  • as an ingredient in baking
  • in the manufacture of bannocks or oatcakes
  • as a stuffing for poultry
  • as a coating for Caboc cheese
  • as the main ingredient of the Scottish dish, skirlie, or its chip-shop counterpart, the deep-fried thickly-battered mealy pudding
  • mixed with sheep's blood, salt, and pepper to make Highland black pudding
  • mixed with fat, water, onions and seasoning, and boiled in a sheep's intestine to make "marag geal"' Outer Hebridean white pudding, served sliced with fried eggs at breakfast
  • as a major component of haggis.


Serves 4


  • 3-4oz (75-100g) slightly toasted and sifted oatmeal

  • 10fl oz (300ml) double or whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon malt whisky
  • 6oz (175g) raspberries or blackberries (or a mixture of both)


  1. Whip the cream.
  2. Pour the whisky over the oatmeal and fold the mixture into the cream.
  3. Fold in the fruit reserving a few pieces for decoration.

Serve in glasses chilled.


On a little side note from the comments, Cranachan makes a a great dessert, maybe a bit much with the whiskey for breakfast and why not!! Here's a clip of how to make it as well:


  1. This would be just heavenly for breakfast! Love the use of whiskey, excellent recipe!

  2. What a perfect dish, it looks so tasty and so appealing to the eye!

  3. This sounds amazing and a great way to start the day! :)

  4. Rebecca, this sounds a yummy healthy breakfast for me.
    Angie's Recipes

  5. Who knew there was so much to learn about oats and oatmeal. Interesting post and a delicious-looking and healthy breakfast choice.

  6. What a lovely bowl of oatmeal. Thank you for sharing!

  7. 5 star foodie: its really a dessert lol
    Donna: will pass on to Janice
    Karine: thanks
    Angie: whiskey in the morning!
    Deb: i know great info
    Palidor: will tell janice you liked it

  8. This looks so pretty and delicious! And what's a tablespoon of whiskey at breakfast when all the other ingredients are so good?

  9. Jamie: he he point taken, sure why not cranachan for breakie love Rebecca

  10. Ooh how exciting to see my recipe on your blog, woo hoo!

    I've never known anyone to eat this for their breakfast, althought it would be rather nice, even without the whisky (no 'e' in Scottish whisky) I'll be posting another oat based recipe on my blog tonight which is more suitable.

    Thanks for all your comments.

  11. Janice: Oh dear there is no hope for me, getting Americanized on the spelling he he thanks again Janice

  12. This sounds and looks fantastic!!!

  13. What a delicious treat! YUm YUm...& nice posting. Thanks for sharing.

  14. That is so cool. Thanks for the background info on this.

  15. Erica: cool right
    my little space, Sweta, Melinda
    will tell the lovely Janice

  16. THis is very interesting indeed! Love learning about food, thank you.

  17. Lovely ingredients,looks yummy too..

  18. I loved visiting Scotland and yet I never had this! Going to have to try it while I can still get berries at the market.

  19. I should have known it was for dessert vs. breakfast when I saw the photo of toasted oats. Darn it!

  20. Laura and Vrinda will pass comments along
    peggy: let us know how it goes
    Radka: thanks so much, will visit yours as well
    fresh local and best : love this discussion is it for breakfast or not!!!!

  21. Hey don't let us unimaginative Scottish folk stop you Americans eating it for breakfast lol!

    I've posted another oat recipe on my blog, one of my favourite types of oat pancake - a Sauty Bannock. Easy to make but just delicious.

  22. Yummy. I love that this dessert has oatmeal in it. I love oatmeal.

  23. Lori: smiling see you knew it was a dessert

  24. This sounds absolutely delicious!!



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