Cranachan

For Burns night (25th January), a traditional Scottish pudding made a bit lighter by the addition of half-fat crème fraîche. We ate it all before I could take pictures. This quantity makes 6 portions.

  • 75g porridge oats
  • 35g flaked almonds
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150g half-fat crème fraîche
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons whisky
  • 3 tablespoons clear honey
  • 350g frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • handful fresh raspberries (optional)

Take the raspberries out of the freezer at least 2 hours before you’re going to use them – they need to defrost at room temperature.  Put the oats and almonds in a large non-stick frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Watch it like a hawk, and keep stirring the oats and almonds so they toast to a golden brown colour. If you take your eyes off the pan for a minute you’re guaranteed to come back to a pan full of blackened almonds! Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour the double cream and crème fraîche into a large bowl and add the vanilla extract, whisky and honey. Whip to the soft peak stage – don’t over-do it, as the cream will stiffen further when mixed with the oats. Set six glass tumblers on a tray (you could use ramekins, but if you use glasses you’ll be able to see the lovely layers). Put a spoonful of the whipped cream mixture in the base of each glass. Sprinkle on some of the oats and almonds and about half the defrosted raspberries on top. Repeat the layers once more. If you’ve got fresh raspberries, put a thin layer of the oat/almond mixture over the top layer of defrosted raspberries and put the fresh raspberries on the top of that.  The oat/almond mixture can be made well in advance, and you can whip the cream mixture ahead of time as well, but the cranachan needs to be served as soon as it’s assembled.

tawny marmalade

Chris called this “mahogany marmalade” as it’s a fair bit darker than tawny!  An accident, but a tasty one, because I didn’t have quite enough demerara sugar to make up 2kg, so I improvised with what was in the cupboard. This made 6 1lb jars. If you put all the shreds of orange peel in you’ll probably need more.

  • 1kg seville oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1.8kg demerara sugar
  • 200g dark soft brown sugar

Wash and dry the fruit. Pour 2 litres of cold water into a large pan (it really does have to be the biggest one you’ve got, it WILL boil over…).  If you’re making a lot of jams and pickles then invest in a maslin pan, like this one: Lakeland maslin pans

Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemons and add to the water.  Scrape out the pips and pith from the oranges with a teaspoon (don’t bother with the lemon) and put it all in a muslin square, tie it up and put in the pan with the juice and the water.  Now attack the orange peel. I cut it as fine as I possibly could, and put in only about two-thirds of the bits. If you like chunkier marmalade then put the whole lot in.  Add the peel to the pan, and leave to soak overnight.  

The next day, put a small plate into your freezer (you will be using this to test for a set later).  Bring the panto the boil and let it all simmer very gently for 1.5 to 2 hours until the peel is very soft.

Squeeze as much juice from the muslin bag into the pan as you can, and put it to one side.  Add the sugar to the pan, bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the while so that the sugar dissolves properly, then whack up the heat and boil it rapidly for about 20 minutes.

Test it for a set by spooning a small amount onto the cold plate you put in the freezer. Leave it for a minute and if the surface is wrinkly when you push it with your finger, then it’s set.  If it’s not wrinkly but just runny, boil the marmalade for another few minutes and try again.

Switch off the heat when setting point is reached, and leave it to settle for about 15 minutes. This is just enough time to sterilise your jars and lids. Either run the jars through the dishwasher, or wash them in hot soapy water, rinse well and put them in a low oven for 5 minutes to dry out.  Put your lids in a saucepan with boiling water to cover, and boil them for 3 minutes. Take them out and dry them thoroughly before you use them to seal the jars – kitchen paper is best. The jars should be warm when you put the marmalade in them or they may crack owing to the temperature difference.

Skim off any scummy stuff on the surface of the marmalade and throw it away.  Spoon the rest of the marmalade into the jars and seal with a lid. I don’t bother with wax discs if the lids are new or show no signs of discoloration- if the marmalade or jam is still pretty hot, just screw on the lid tightly and turn the jar upside down briefly.