One of the most famous and widely copied “modern Scottish” innovations dreamed up by the late Ronnie Clydesdale at his Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow, this delicious ice cream was perhaps inspired by the traditional dessert called cranachan—a mixture of toasted oats soaked in whisky, whipped cream, and berries. The dish has remained on the menu at the Chip for decades with various accompaniments (it is currently served with white wine jelly and caramelized plums), but I think all it needs is some sweetened berries. There’s no whisky in this recipe; I suggest adding it yourself, in a glass, on the side.
Recipe courtesy of cookbook The British Table: A New Look at the Traditional Cooking of England, Scotland, and Wales by Colman Andrews. Click here to purchase your own copy.
- 2 1/2 Cups sugar
- 1/2 Cup stone-ground Scottish oats
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 Cups heavy cream
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 Cups assorted fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 Cup dry bread crumbs
Combine 1 cup (200 g) of the sugar with 1 cup (240 ml) water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Set the syrup aside to cool.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oats and toast them, shaking the pan and stirring the oats occasionally, for about 6 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Set the oats aside.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with the vegetable oil.
Combine 1 cup (200 g) of the sugar with 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the syrup has caramelized and reached 325ºF (160ºC) on a candy thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the toasted oats, then pour the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and let it cool.
When the oat mixture has cooled, crush it into small pieces with a rolling pin and set it aside.
Put the reserved syrup into a large bowl, then beat it with a hand mixer on medium speed until it thickens slightly. Add the cream and milk and continue beating until soft peaks form. Fold in the oatmeal pieces, mixing them in well, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze for about 1 hour. Remove the mixture from the freezer and beat it again for about a minute. Transfer the ice cream to a 5-cup (1.1-L) loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
Combine the remaining ½ cup (100 g) sugar and ½ cup (120 ml) water in a small pan. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the syrup has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in the berries and cook for about 15 seconds. Transfer the berries to a small bowl and set them aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and toast them, stirring frequently, until they’re golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the bread crumbs to a wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the ice cream loaf.
Unmold the ice cream loaf by briefly dipping the base of the pan into a bowl of hot water to loosen it from the edges, then tip the loaf out into the dish of bread crumbs and coat all sides with the crumbs. Slice the loaf into eight pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, then cut each slice in half lengthwise. Arrange two pieces of ice cream on each of eight chilled plates, then spoon some of the berries next to each serving, dividing them between the plates.