I had a lot of mascarpone and heavy cream left that were nearing expiry date. Not having the heart to throw them away, I decided to make cranachan with the leftover mascarpone and cream. Cranachan is a Scottish dessert that is also enjoyed as an evening snack by some. I saw it for the first time in a food magazine sometime back and wondered about it origins.
Cranachan is also known as Cream Crowdie. This dessert celebrates the oatmeal, which is served roasted. Cranachan is traditionally eaten around harvest time in rural Scotland but is now a very common dessert, not only in Scotland, but also in other countries. In modern times, cranachan is known to include roasted oatmeal, whipped cream, honey, fresh raspberries and a little whiskey. As I read, in earlier recipes, crowdie cheese was used instead of cream and other earlier recipes don't contain whiskey and the raspberries are also considered optional. Since there are no fresh raspberries available around this time of the year, I used frozen raspberries, and I omitted the whiskey. Also, since I used frozen raspberries I mixed half of the cream with the raspberries. It was very refreshing and tasted like a crumbly raspberry pie.
125 g butter
3 tbs honey (preferably Scottish heather)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup jumbo porridge oats (or regular oats)
5 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs hazelnuts (optional)
1 cup fresh cream (fat 35-40%)
3/4 cup mascarpone (adjust)
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup defrosted raspberries
Begin by making the crumbly oatmeal. Melt the butter and mix in the honey and allow to cool for a while. In a separate bowl, add and mi flour, oats, roughly chopped hazelnuts and sugar. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and crumble with your fingers until all the flour is well coated with the butter and honey mixture. Spread out the oatmeal mixture on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until crispy, in the middle part of a preheated oven at around 175 C (350 F) degrees. It has a tendency to get burned fast so don't be away from the kitchen for long. Take it out and allow to cool.
Whip the fresh cream and the mascarpone until smooth. Add the icing sugar and mix some more. Take half the amount of the cream mixture and place it in another bowl and with the help of a handmixer, mix in the raspberries. To assemble the cranachan, spoon in some raspberry cream in the bottom of a glass bowl, followed by a layer of cream and a layer of crumbled oats. Repeat 2-3 times, depending on your bowl size, saving the final layer of oats to scatter over before serving with a dusting of icing sugar or fresh raspberries.