Index of recipes from books

Cream-crowdie (Cranachan) – from Scottish Cookery (1985)

Halloween stapag * or fuarag* – from A Year in A Scots Kitchen (1996)

Petticoat tails (elegant shortbread) - from Classic Scots Cookery (2004)

Thin oatcakes - from Maw Broon’s Cooking with Bairns (2010)

Wee clootie - from Maw Broon’s Cooking with Bairns (2010)

Walnut tablet - from Maw Broon’s Cooking with Bairns (2010)

Cream-crowdie ( (Cranachan) – from Scottish Cookery (1985)

Unique Scottish flavours—whisky, heather honey and oatmeal combine with cream and soft fruits in this versatile tradition.

The best way to make and eat this is in the traditional way; mixing your own, to your own taste as you sit round a table with family or friends. The toasted oatmeal doesn’t lose its ‘bite’ when mixed and eaten immediately, though some do prefer it softened, as it is when the mixture is made up some time in advance.

The ritual eating was originally a celebration of ‘harvest home’ when brambles and blaeberries would most likely have been used.

Set on the table the following:

A bowl of Cream and Crowdie—2 parts crowdie to 1 part freshly whipped double cream (this was the traditional mixture but it may be varied according to taste with soured cream, fromage frais, crème fraiche or natural yoghurt used if preferred).

A bowl of pinhead (coarse) or medium oatmeal which has been toasted slowly and gently in the oven. This drives off excess moisture, concentrates, and greatly improves the flavour.

A bowl of fresh soft fruits—either a single fruit, or combination, but must be soft and fresh. Picking fruit is traditionally done by children.

A jar of heather honey to sweeten, though sugar may also be used.

Bottle of whisky

To Make: Give each person a bowl and spoon (in old Scots households the bowls would have been wooden and the spoons hand-carved horn). The ingredients are then passed round the table and each person creates their own mixture, lubricating it with generous tots of whisky. Fruit juice for the children.


Halloween Stapag* or Fuarag* – from A Year in A Scots Kitchen (1996)

‘Good thick cream was put in a basin and well beaten up. While the cream was being stirred round and round, oatmeal was gradually added till the whole got as thick as porridge. Then all the members of the household gathered round, each armed with a spoon, and partook of the stapag. On Hallowe’en, stapag was always made, and as the milk would just be beginning to get scarce then a considerable amount of saving up used to be gone thro’ in connection with the cream.

‘Into this stapag a ring, a thimble and a button along with some silver coins used to be added. Each had to dip his or her spoon to the very bottom of the dish but no scraping was allowed. People did not always keep their Sunday manners about them on Hallowe’en, and tho’ only one spoon was supposed to be in the dish at one time yet by some means a dozen or so might be seen scraping about.’
M M Banks, British Calendar Customs, Scotland, Vol III 1941

*Gaelic for mixtures with oatmeal


Petticoat tails (elegant shortbread) - from Classic Scots Cookery (2004)

This was first made by high-class Edinburgh bakers and takes its name from the shape of the petticoat hoops worn by women in the nineteenth century. It’s thought by commercial bakers that it was first made as a more elegant type of shortbread - suitable for the ladies’ tea tables.

Yield one round

200g (7oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) icing sugar
75g (3oz) butter, softened
25g (1oz) vegetable fat or lard

For dredging: caster sugar
Greased and floured baking tray

Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 3

MIXING: Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and lard and rub in the fats till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Knead together into a firm dough. This can be done in a food processor, starting on a low speed and avoiding over mixing.

SHAPING: Dust the work surface with flour and roll out to a round about 5mm (¼ inch) thick. Crimp the edges with finger and thumb to decorate and prick all over with a fork. Cut a small circle from the centre with a scone cutter. Divide the remaining circle into 12 wedge-shaped biscuits – the ‘petticoat tails’ and place on greased and floured baking tray.

BAKING: Bake for 20 minutes then raise the heat to 180C/Gas 4 and continue baking till they are a light golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar while still warm.


Thin oatcakes - from Maw Broon’s Cooking with Bairns (2010)

Will make 14-16

You will need:
150g medium oatmeal
50g coarse oatmeal
50g plain flour
75ml boiling water
40g butter

Before you start:
Get a mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Rolling pin
Baking tray 23 x 33 cm
Piece of foil to fit baking tray
Pre heat oven to Gas4/180C

How to make:
Put medium and coarse oatmeal and flour into bowl. Mix together and make a well in the centre.
Put boiling water into measuring jug.
Chop butter and add, stir to dissolve.
Pour into oatmeal and flour.
Stir with a fork to bring the mixture together.
Put onto foil and knead into a firm ball.
Roll out to the size of the baking tray when it will be about 3mm thick.
Lift into in baking tray, neaten edges and cut into squares.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes till crisp. Cool on a rack

Glebe Street Tips:
It’s important to work quickly while the mixture is hot. When it cools it’s not so easy to roll out thinly.
Shape into two rounds and cut into triangles for traditional oatcakes.
Use cutters to make different shapes.
You can vary the texture by changing the proportions of medium and coarse oatmeal. There is also fine oatmeal and pinhead which is very coarse, just the whole grain cut into two.


Wee clootie - another from Maw's

Will feed 6-8

You will need:
3 tablespoons plain flour for dusting cloth
125g self-raising flour
175g fine white breadcrumbs
125g prepared beef suet
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons each: ground cinnamon, ground ginger
½ grated nutmeg
175g sultanas
175g raisins
1 cooking apple, or large carrot peeled and grated
2 tablespoons golden syrup, or honey or marmalade
2 tablespoons black treacle
2 eggs
fresh orange juice if necessary to mix

Before you start:
Get a large pot with a lid
Small plate or saucer
Piece of close-woven cotton or linen cloth (‘cloot’) 55cm diameter
Kitchen tongs
Length of strong string
Large mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Small bowl
Sieve with flour for dredging

Fill large pot half-full of water and bring to the boil. Put the small plate or saucer upside down in the bottom of the pot to prevent the dumpling sticking. Add the cloth to the boiling water.
Clear a work surface space the size of the cloth. Lift the cloth out of the pot with some tongs and spread out on the work surface.

While still hot, dust with flour from a sieve evenly over the cloth to about 6 cm from the edge.
Lift up cloth to shake and spread evenly. There should be a thick layer which makes the ‘skin’ and is the seal that prevents water from getting into the dumpling.

To make mixture: put flour, breadcrumbs, suet, baking powder, ground spices, sultanas, raisins, grated apple or carrot in to a large mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the centre.
Put the syrup (or honey or marmalade), treacle and eggs into a small bowl and mix well till dissolved.
Add to the dry ingredients. Mix by hand to get the right consistency. There should be enough moisture to make a fairly stiff consistency. It should not be too soft, or the dumpling will crack, or too stiff when the dumpling will not rise well. Only add orange juice if it is very stiff.

Put the mixture into the middle of the cloth. Bring up the sides of the cloth round the dumpling, making sure all the edges are caught up. Tie round the top tightly with string leaving enough space for the dumpling to expand.

Hold up the tied ends and pat the dumpling into a round shape. Drop into the pot of boiling water. The water should come about half-way up the dumpling. If it is too high it will get into the dumpling and make it soggy at the top.

Tie the ends of the string to the pot handles to keep it upright. Put on the lid.
Leave to simmer over a low heat for about 3 ½ hours, checking the water level every hour and filling up with boiling water if necessary.

To turn out: fill up the sink with cold water. Have a mixing bowl large enough to hold the dumpling. With oven gloves, lift it out of the pot and into the cold water. Hold it for 60seconds in the cold water. This releases the ‘skin’ from the cloth.

Take out and place in the bowl. Remove string and open out cloth.

Place a large serving plate on top and turn the bowl over onto the plate. Remove the bowl and peel off the cloth.

Leave the skin to dry off in a warm place. Serve once the skin has dried. Sprinkle on top with some soft brown sugar. Serve with runny custard or whipped cream.

Glebe Street Tips:
Always eat hot or lightly warm. Leftover slices are great fried up with bacon and eggs.
Once you’ve mastered a Wee Clootie you can double up the recipe to make a proper Broons Clootie large enough to feed all eleven of them.
Stoned dates can be used instead of sultanas. Whizz in food processor till fine and add with the raisins.


Walnut table- also from Maw’s

Will make 48 pieces

You will need:
125g walnuts
200ml milk
175g unsalted butter
800g caster sugar
1 x 397g tin condensed milk

Before you start:
Get a chopping board and a knife
A large pot with a thick base
Wooden stirring spoon with flat edge
Small cup with cold water
Line a baking tin 18 x 22cm with foil. Cover with layer of clingfilm and place in freezer for a few hours
Have more cling film for covering

Roughly chop the walnuts.

Put milk, butter, sugar into pot and put over a low heat.

Stir while the butter melts to dissolve the sugar. Do not allow it to start boiling.

When you think all the sugar is dissolved, take out wooden spoon and leave to cool. When it’s cool rub your finger over the spoon to check there are no gritty sugar crystals left.

When all the sugar is dissolved, add the condensed milk.
Bring up to a very slow simmer.

Stir every few minutes. Start testing to see if the tablet is ready when the mixture begins to turn from light brown to darker brown. This may take 10-15 minutes depending on the heat.

To test: drop some of the mixture from the spoon into the small cup with cold water. Leave for a few minutes. Test by rolling between your fingers when it should form a soft ball. (116C if you have a sugar thermometer).

Remove from heat and place on a wet cloth to hold the pot. Beat with a wooden spoon. As it cools, the mixture changes texture from smooth to ‘grainy’. This can take about 5 minutes.

Check the back of the spoon for signs of texture change. It will begin to thicken as it ‘grains’. Don’t wait too long since it will be difficult to pour if it’s too thick.
Add the walnuts.

Pour into prepared tin. Level on top with spatula if necessary. Leave till it is cool. Cover with a layer of clingfilm and put into the freezer for 1 ½ hours.

Remove and turn out of tin onto work surface. Take off foil and cling film from base. Leave for 30 minutes.

Score the base into 4 with the heel of a vegetable knife about 50mm deep and break into two pieces. Break into four pieces. Score each quarter into three strips and break. Score into small squares and break.

It’s easiest to make tablet in a thick based pot which spreads the heat evenly. An electric hob will also spread the heat more evenly than a gas burner. With gas you will need to stir more often while simmering to avoid burning. Since there is such a high sugar content it will burn very easily.
For a soft fudgy tablet, remove from the heat when the mixture is a fairly soft ball. For a harder tablet, leave until it is a slightly firmer soft ball.
Other flavourings:
Ginger – add 50g chopped preserved ginger
Nut and Raisin – add 50g chopped nuts and 50g raisins
Vanilla – add teaspoon vanilla extract
Orange – add 200ml fresh orange juice instead of milk


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Catherine Brown
Perthshire and Wester Ross, Scotland