Cranachan is one of the best known Scottish desserts and is usually made with Scottish raspberries. However, as my garden rhubarb is lush and abundant, it seemed a shame to buy raspberries when I could roast some stalks of rhubarb with sugar and use those instead, to make the perfect spring dessert, Scottish Rhubarb Cranachan.
I was watching Countryfile on TV the other night and there was an article about a rhubarb farm in the Yorkshire rhubarb triangle, the reason they gave for the rhubarb growing so well in that area was that it was cold and wet. That sounds familiar and our rhubarb certainly grows away by itself without much attention and produces many stalks of rhubarb throughout the summer, apologies for my dodgy lawn, the wet and cold is not such a good combination for growing grass and seems to produce more moss than grass!
- 3 large stalks of rhubarb
- 30 g caster sugar
- 100 g pinhead or medium oatmeal
- 50 g hazelnuts toasted
- 60 g light soft brown sugar
- 200 ml double cream
- 100 ml creme fraiche
- 25 ml malt whisky or a whisky liqueur
Clean the rhubarb and cut into 3cm lengths, place in a single layer in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with caster sugar. Roast for about 8-10 minutes at 180C. The rhubarb pieces should be whole but if you pierce with a knife, it should be soft all the way through. Leave the rhubarb to cool.
Meanwhile, toast the oats on a tray under the grill (broiler), watch them carefully so they don't burn, move them around a little so that they toast evenly.
Toast the hazelnuts in the same way or in a dry frying pan which can be easier to manage, let them cool and rub off the skins.
Put the oats, hazelnuts and sugar into a blender and whizz them up, make sure you don't grind them to a powder you want a little bit of texture, you are looking for the texture of rough breadcrumbs.
Whip the double cream and mix with the creme fraiche.
Spoon into individual glasses starting with the oat mixture, the cream, rhubarb and then repeat the layers, finishing with a few of the best pieces of rhubarb and a little spoonful of oat mixture.
You can eat it straight away, but it does improve if you leave it for up to 24 hours, as the oats soak up the moisture from the fruit and cream and soften.
There are many recipes for cranachan and many delicious cold desserts using rhubarb, here are a few from some of the UK’s top bloggers:
Iced Cranachan – Farmersgirl Kitchen
Cranachan – Tinned Tomatoes
Mini Chocolate Rhubarb Pavlovas – Tin & Thyme
Rhubarb and Ginger Pavlovas – Foodie Quine
Rhubarb and Ginger Trifles – Farmersgirl Kitchen