Saturday, April 28, 2012


Rhubarb Cranachan

Cranachan is an old Scottish dessert designed to insulate against grey days and damp winds: hearty toasted oats are stirred together with cream cheese, whipped cream, honey, whiskey, and fresh raspberries (for the vitamins, presumably). Rhubarb cranachan is a modern reworking from Niki Segnit's inspiring Flavor Thesaurus (a kind of culinary choose-your-own-adventure book).

When the cranachan recipe is stripped down to its five main themes (sweetness, cream, acidity, booze, and crunch), even more variations start to suggest themselves. Later in the summer I plan to try a Georgian version, with ripe yellow peaches, Southern Comfort and toasted pecans.

Niki Segnit's Rhubarb Cranachan

Chop 6 stalks of rhubarb and toss with 3/4 c sugar; bake in a covered, buttered dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then let cool. In a heavy skillet, toast 1/2 c oats until golden, then let cool. Whip 3/4 c cream into stiff peaks, then fold in the rhubarb, 2 T amaretto, 2 T honey, and three-quarters of the oats. Serve chilled in small glasses topped with the remainder of the oats and toasted, sliced almonds.

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