Friday, December 23, 2016

Cranachan for Christmas – or For Whatever Holiday You Celebrate!

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Holiday greetings from all of us in Inversgail, Scotland! I know you’re most likely busy so I won’t keep you, but I do want to share a recipe with you. It’s one that delights me for several reasons. First, it’s a traditional Scottish dessert, and I love both—desserts and Scotland. Second, it calls for whisky and oatmeal and I like both of those, too. Third, it’s dead easy to make and who doesn’t like that idea? Fourth, it’s pretty. And that’s really enough, isn’t it? So, from my kitchen to yours – I give you cranachan. Pronounce it with a bit of a guttural on the ch and you’ll sound like a pro.

4 tbsp. pinhead oatmeal (steel cut oats)
1 ¼ cup whipping cream
2 tbsp. whisky (optional) (so they say)
3 tbsp. liquid honey (preferably heather honey)
2 cups fresh raspberries
4 parfait or other tall glasses
Toast the oatmeal in a frying pan over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Shake the pan from time to time until the oatmeal is lightly browned. Meanwhile, whip the cream until it is thick but not stiff. Fold in the whisky and honey. Reserve the best raspberries to decorate the top. Fold the rest into the cream gently. Spoon the mixture into the parfait glasses, sprinkle with the toasted oatmeal, decorate with the reserved raspberries, and chill until ready to serve. A variant is called Ale-Crowdie and calls for ale, treacle, and whisky with the oatmeal.

Oh, and if you’re looking for any last minute presents, stop by Yon Bonnie Books. Our newest inventory is online here, and we’ll be open until noon on Christmas Eve. Happy Holidays!

Molly MacRae is also the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries.  Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts


  1. Thank you for the recipe! That looks so good.

  2. This sounds dead easy (!) and quite delicious.
    Interesting to toast the oats, not boil them.

    1. Ha! Glad you caught the joke in "dead easy." Thanks for stopping by the blog today, Libby. Merry Christmas!

  3. I have had the pleasure of reading Plaid and Plagiarism ---A really good book. The recipe sounds lovely and easy, two of my favorite qualities in anything.

    1. Thank you, Annette! I'll pass your kind words on to Molly. She's busy writing book two, Scones and Scoundrels.

  4. I like the spelling of the word, "Cranachan."