Ever heard of a cranachan? Neither had I before coming across a recipe for one in the new River Cottage Every Day cookbook. But now I can't get this layered dessert of toasted oats, fresh summer fruit, and boozy whipped cream out of my head.
Cranachans belong to that family of layered summer desserts that also includes trifles, parfaits, and fools. Their Scottish roots are evidenced by the layer of gently toasted oats and the whisky that gets folded into the honey-sweetened whipped cream.
Any seasonal fruit can be used in this dessert, though raspberries are traditional. The fruit is also usually served fresh and whole rather than cooking it down or pureeing it as is typical for fools and trifles.
I just love the textures in this dessert: the crunchy oats and the tender summer fruit combined with the softness of whipped cream. The earthy flavor of whisky also sounds like a perfect paring with the oats, especially when contrasted with tart raspberries or juicy peaches.
Check out the River Cottage Every Day cookbook for one good cranachan recipe. Here are a few others that I found around the web:
• Chocolate Cranachan from Epicurious
• Raspberry Cranachan Trifle from BBC Good Food
• Nigel Slater's Classic Cranachan from The UK Guardian
Do you love cranachans? What's your favorite fruit and oat combination?
Related: Sweets without Heat: 25 No-Bake Summer Desserts
(Image: Mark Thomas/Epicurious and BBC Good Food)