Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Let's Cook: A wee dram of raspberry delight

There's nothing as deliciously decadent as end of season, local raspberries. From now to mid-October they only get more intense and flavoursome ? so make the most of them.

There's nothing as deliciously decadent as end of season, local raspberries. From now to mid-October they only get more intense and flavoursome ? so make the most of them.

Raspberries with a good dollop of cream would be a near perfect way of savouring their unique taste, but I think it's the Scots who know how to treat this treasure the best way. "Raspberry Cranachan" is a traditional Scottish dessert that combines ripe raspberries with honey, whiskey, cream and toasted oatmeal to create a simply sublime texture and taste.

Although this is a great dessert, it can be improved by jiggling the ingredients and baking a bit here and freezing a bit there.

Whiskey and honey are a brilliant combination and they are even better frozen in an ice cream. The oats, traditionally just toasted, are baked into a crisp biscuit - crumble some over the dessert and then serve the rest on the side.

And then something wonderful happens when you add a few raspberries ?magically they bring the whole thing together to cut through the creaminess and crunchiness.

Of course if you don't want the effort of this dessert, another way to enjoy raspberries is to freeze then on a tray, lined with grease-proof paper and then drop into sparkling wine for a great cocktail.

Or bring 200ml of double cream to boil, whisk in 200g of chopped white chocolate and immediately pour over the frozen raspberries - fantastic!

As the American writer EW Howe said: "there is something in the red of a raspberry that looks as good to a man as the red in a sheep looks to a wolf" ? he was obviously a fan!

Raspberries with whiskey and honey ice cream

250g double cream

250g good quality fresh custard

2 tablespoons honey

good glug whiskey

Lightly whip the cream to soft peaks and then fold in the custard. Gently heat the whiskey and honey together and add to the cream mixture.

Freeze in a plastic container for at least 6 hours.

Oatmeal biscuits

50g brown sugar

75g butter

1 tablespoon honey

50g oats

Melt the butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium high heat and then beat in the oats.

Spread into a greased baking tray and bake at 180oc for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in the tray and then cut into rectangular shapes and store in an airtight container.

To assemble ?

Take 250g raspberries and add a tablespoon of castor sugar and a whisper of whiskey. Gently stir and leave for 5 minutes. Take a martini glass and place some of the raspberries in the bottom.

Top with a scoop of the ice cream and then add more raspberries.

Crumble over some biscuit and then serve some on the side.

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