A wee twist on the classic Scottish pud to celebrate Burns Night.
To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!
Today marks the birthday of Scotland’s Bard, Rabbie Burns. Scots all over the world celebrate the life and work of the national poet every year with a traditional Burns Supper, including haggis, neeps and tatties, as well as poetry and piping. The traditional sweet is usually cranachan – a delicious creamy desert with honey, whisky, raspberries, crowdie and toasted oatmeal. After seeing Paul Hollywood’s take on cranachan cheesecake on his show Puds & Pies, I was inspired to create my own, but stuck to the traditional creamy base rather than an eggy one. I didn’t include the whisky but you can add this too, to your liking! I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe – it really couldn’t be simpler.
To make the cheesecake you will need:
300 ml whipping cream (I used Elmlea)
150g crowdie or ricotta cheese (see below)
About 100g oatcakes
30g ground oatmeal, toasted (I ground up rolled oats in a food processor and then toasted them under the grill for approx five minutes)
2-3 tbsp honey for the base, plus extra for the cream (to your taste)
Enough butter to hold the base together
A few leftover raspberries for decoration
Pie tin, greased
Note: Crowdie is a soft cheese that tastes a bit like a salty ricotta. If you can’t get hold of it you could use ricotta or another cream cheese instead. Mine was by the Highland Fine Cheeses company from Sainsbury’s.
1) First, make the base: crush the oatcakes either in a food processor or with the tried and tested bag-and-rolling-pin method. I prefer doing it this way so they don’t get too fine, which is easily done when using the processor.
2) Melt the butter and add to the ground oatcakes, along with the honey; I say 2 – 3 tablespoons as it depends on the sweetness of the honey you’re using. (I ought to have used some lovely heather honey but this was all I had to hand!)
Mix until it starts to come together and you have your lovely buttery biscuit base (couldn’t resist).
Press the mixture evenly into the base of your greased tin and pop in the fridge to firm up while you make the filling.
3) To make the filling, first whip the cream.
A sneak peek of a very exciting new purchase above… but more on that soon. You want to keep going until the cream is softly whipped, but not too firm. This sort of consistency:
4) Add the crowdie and honey to the cream and fold through until evenly distributed. You can add the honey to your taste – enough to counteract the saltiness of the crowdie, but not so that it becomes overly sweet.
It’s not the prettiest but boy does it taste good! Next, fold through the toasted oatmeal – this gives a lovely crunchy texture that makes cranachan so distinctive.
5) Add the creamy mixture to the set base, spreading it out to the edges until you have a nice even coverage. Pop in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
6) Meanwhile, make the raspberry coulis. You will need:
Approx 250g raspberries
Icing sugar to taste
Sadly Scottish raspberries aren’t in season (if only Rabbie knew), but this is even more delicious come summer time when you can use them!
Purée the raspberries and icing sugar in the blender (depending on how sweet or otherwise your berries are!)
Lovely, but very bitty! Pass the purée through a sieve to get rid of the pips. It couldn’t be easier and makes a really lovely accompaniment to the cheesecake.
7) Once your cheesecake has firmed up in the fridge, decorate with some fresh raspberries. Serve with a generous drizzle of raspberry coulis.
So there you go: a simple wee twist on classic cranachan. Happy Burns Night all!
Do you celebrate Burns Night? What are you having for your Burns Supper?