Festive recipe time

Christmas recipe

It’s that time of year to make merry and enjoy plenty of tasty goodies. If you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional Christmas Pudding, why not give this tasty Cranachan from Green Tree Court’s award-winning Head Chef Tim Ware a try?


Poached Pear Cranachan

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert. It’s usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, with toasted oatmeal soaked overnight in a little bit more whisky! You can arrange into individual serving dishes if you want, but a traditional way to serve it up is to bring dishes of each ingredient to the table so that each person can assemble their dessert to taste. That makes it lots of fun with family and friends and lets everyone decide just how much more they can fit in after a large lunch!  And as you can prepare the pears up to a week in advance, you can lighten the load on the big day itself.

(makes X3 glasses)


Poaching liquor

1x bottle mulled wine

4x pears

2x star anise

2x bay leaves

2x cloves

2x tbsp muscovado sugar


Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Turn down the heat to gently simmer. Next, place your pears in the syrup and rest some greaseproof paper over the top (it should be touching the water). Let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes until the pears soften (this will depend on how ripe they are to start with). If you put a knife in the pear and it feels soft, then you know that they are ready. Once cooked, take off the heat and leave to cool. When cooled, place the pears and liquor mixture in the fridge where it will last for up to 1 week.


Toasted oats

150g jumbo organic porridge oats

125g unsalted butter (melted)

1 tsp mixed spice

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp demerara sugar

1 shot of good whisky


Pour the whisky over the oats and leave for a few hours until it is absorbed. Add all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix. Place on to a lined baking try and roast in the oven for around 15 minutes at 180°C till golden brown. Place to one side to cool.


Spiced mascarpone

500g mascarpone

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp whisky

1 tbsp icing sugar

1 vanilla pod


Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod into a bowl containing all the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly and transfer into a piping bag or leave in the bowl if you would like guests to build their own Cranachan.


When all your ingredients are chilled you can assemble your Cranachan how you want to. You could use a small glass or add a touch of vintage style by serving in champagne saucers. There are no rules on what should go first. And you can always bring the ingredients to the table so your guests can help themselves. This recipe is a perfect way to finish off your Christmas meal as an alternative to Christmas pudding. Enjoy!

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