Caledonian cream has been long associated with Burns' Night suppers and indeed it is a beautifully light finish to what is a substantial meal of soup, haggis, neeps and potatoes. However, it is also, like syllabub, often on wedding breakfast menus and according to a book I have just been reading, a firm favourite of Queen Victoria's Christmas fare at Balmoral. For us it certainly provides some sunshine in a wet Normandie Winter.
This is one of these recipes that is difficult to date because it was often a family one and handed-down by word-of-mouth. Even the fact that one of the elements didn't become available until 1797 isn't decisive, as presumably even that could have been substituted for some other ingredient in an earlier version!
Caledonian cream is easier to make if you have already have this aforementioned ingredient, which is Seville marmalade, tucked away in your cupboards. It is, however, quite simple just to make up a quick batch from a few citrus fruits and their rinds if you are outside the (very short) season for bitter oranges. You may just need to use more lemon juice and less sugar to get that fine aigre-doux balance. This is a dessert that suffers, just as marmalade itself does, if you overdo the sweetness. I will put a link to my marmalade recipe at the bottom of the page.
This dessert is a real celebration of Scottish ingredients as it contains two of its famous 'inventions' and exports marmalade and whisky.
2 tablespoons of malt whisky (you can also use brandy and we have made it with Calvados aka Normandie apple brandy)
2 tablespoons of Seville marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of rapadura or raw cane sugar
This will make four servings.
*This is cream which has been left to stand and cool after full cream milk, such as A2 raw Normandy, has been run through a separator. I know this because some few weeks ago I got up at, what was to me, the crack of dawn to go and film the process. More of this in a later article.
If you are using a thin crème fraîche then you will need to whip this up prior to incorporating the rest of the ingredient. You can over-beat cream so I usually beat it until it forms something that looks like the leaves of a book. However, for the last two years I have been able to get my cream directly from the cow - raw and organic and so thick a spoon will stand up in it.
Add the sugar and marmalade to the cream and incorporate by folding into cream with a large spoon
Add the spirit and lemon juice and mix well.
Whisk the mixture together until thick.
You can then spoon into glasses and leave to chill or you can do as I did and use the mixture to assemble our 'Caledonian Sundae'.
I added a layer of pure marmalade to the bottom of the glass and then decorated the top with some home-made chocolate dipped orange peels*. A touch more marmalade and some curls of dark chocolate.
Click here for Seville & Mixed Citrus Marmalade
...and here for Chocolate Dipped Peels
...and here for John Bull's Own Victorian Christmas Pudding - also with gluten-free version.
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Thanks for dropping by and 'til the next time for another recipe from an old farm-house in Normandie, all the best,
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© 2014 Sue Cross