Pure dead brilliant.
Or at least that’s what I hear they say over in the Highlands. I always feel my Scottish roots more strongly while watching Outlander. Kind of like everyone feeling their Irish roots more strongly on St. Patty’s Day. Must be something about the gorgeous Scottish Highlands, the political intrigue of the Jacobite uprising, and . . . um . . . Jaime looking all rugged in his kilt and rocking the insanely hot scottish accent. Yea. Definitely how gorgeous those Scottish Highlands are.
From the time I was little, I remember my Uncle Steve, cousins, and my little brother donning their kilts for a family wedding. (I was thrilled when my Uncle Steve donned it once again for my own wedding.) Shortbread was a Christmas-time staple, I’ve worn the Celtic knot necklace my mother gave me since I was a teenager, and I know every verse for “The Scotsman.” (Spoiler: That is not actually a Scottish song.) Aka… my family is proud of our Scottish heritage, but I am not an authentic Scot.
Cranachan – aka Whiskey, Honey’d Cream with Raspberries & Toasted Oats
This cranachan recipe, however? Out of the Mackay clan vaults, which I was ecstatic to see, has some traditional Scottish desserts. The cranachan recipe below has one twist on the original–the mascarpone. When I was researching the origins of cranachan, I read that the recipe was originally made with crowdie–a type of farmstead cheese.
The Mackay recipe had replaced this entirely with whipped cream. (Though I imagine the cream used back then was much closer to a double cream than the heavy cream we have state-side.) Because crowdie would have had a thicker, richer element to it, I decided to mix a little bit of mascarpone into my cranachan.
David and I tried both straight-up whipped cream and the recipe you see below. We found the addition of mascarpone to be far superior. The cream is weighed down a bit and has more substance. And somehow, the mascarpone enhances the whiskey flavor without the need to add any more whiskey.
Never fear, non-drinkers! If you’re not a whiskey fan or you’re feeding dessert to the kidlets, just swap the whiskey for some vanilla extract. Still fantastic.