Monday, 7th August 2017 is a Public Holiday in Scotland and like public holidays in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, family and friends come together and enjoy the sunshine.
If you have Scottish friends or enjoy any excuse for a get-together, then this is the ideal time to spend some time in the kitchen, baking traditional Scottish sweet treats and puddings. And with this in mind, here are three great recipes;
Scottish Whisky Fudge
Whisky is, of course, a well-known product from Scotland and so it’s only fitting that the best quality Scotch whiskey is used for this sweet fudge recipe.
You will need;
- 2 lbs caster sugar
- 2 tbsp. golden syrup
- 4 oz. butter
- 16 floz whole milk
- 4 (large) tbsp. Scotch whiskey
- Over a low heat, heat the sugar, syrup, butter and milk in a heavy-based pan – heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Check whether the sugar has fully dissolved by inserting a sweet dessert spoon in the liquid – if there are no sugar crystals on the spoon, the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the whiskey.
- Bring to the boil until the temperature reaches 115° - you will need a sugar thermometer for this.
- When it has reached this temperature, take the pan off the heat.
- Now beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until it looks ‘grainy’ – this only takes a few minutes and also helps the mixture to cool.
- Pour the mixture into a lined swiss roll tray or similar and allow to cool completely.
- When ready to serve, cut into small bite-sized portions.
- Enjoy with a nip of finest Scotch whiskey on your outdoor table, enjoying the setting sun with friends lounging on your outdoor sofa.
Often wondered whether it is whisky or whiskey? The Scots drop the ‘e’ but the Irish add the ‘e’ to the product they make.
Another sweet treat synonymous with Scotland is the satisfying buttery taste of shortbread. This recipe gives you 20 generous portions.
You will need;
- 4 oz. unsalted butter
- 2 oz. caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
- 6 oz. plain flour
- Beat the butter and sugar together until they are smooth
- Sift in the flour and work it into the mixture
- Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and gently roll until the paste is around 1cm or half an inch thick
- You can cut into wedge shapes, or long fingers or use a cutter to create shaped, bite-sized pieces.
- Place the paste biscuits onto lightly greased baking trays and chill for around 20 minutes
- Whilst the biscuits are chilling, heat the oven to 190° or gas mark 5
- After 20 minutes, lightly sprinkle the biscuits with some more caster sugar and transfer the biscuits to the bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown
- Allow to cool completely before serving
Serve piled neatly together on a white plate garnished with springs of purple lavender. Best served al fresco with friends lounging on rattan outdoor furniture or with a tartan throw for the outdoor bench – serve with tea or something stronger…
Biscuit and jam Cobbler
There is nothing like hot syrupy fruit to finish off a meal. This recipe serves 8.
For the jam, you will need;
- 2lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into small pieces
- 14 oz. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
For the biscuits, you will need;
- 7oz plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 oz. granulated sugar
- Generous pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 6 oz. cream with extra for brushing
- Icing sugar for sprinkling
- Whipped cream, for serving
Start by making your jam
- Cook the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy-based pan for around 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Essentially you are reducing the mixture until you have around 4 generous cups of jam for the base of this delicious dessert.
- Let it cool completely
HINT – the jam can be made three days in advance, great for reducing your kitchen time on the day you entertain Scottish family and friends.
Assembling the pudding
- Start by making the biscuits – heat the oven to 180°
- Beat together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Add the butter, ‘cutting it’ through the mixture so that the butter is not ‘spread’ or dissolved into the mixture, but are small pieces scatted across the mixture.
- Slowly add the cream gently beating the whole time.
- Turn out onto a work surface and gently knead until smooth, taking care not to over work the dough.
- Roll gently into an 8” round and around half an inch thick – cut into 8 wedges.
- Spread your jam mixture over the bottom of a deep pie dish and arrange the dough edges on top, keeping around a cup of jam in reserve for serving
- Sprinkle over some more sugar and cake in the oven until the biscuit top is brown and the jam bubbling – this can take 40 to 50 minutes
- If the top is browning too quickly, cover the dish with foil
- Allow to cool slightly and serve with the cold jam and whipped cream
All food is best enjoyed with friends and in this case, this dessert is best enjoyed warm, sat on the terrace on your outdoor rattan furniture enjoying the afternoon sun.