I have fond memories of living in Scotland. We moved there when I was 11 and lived for three years just outside Aberdeen. This was where I had my first official cooking lessons which fuelled an interest that had been smouldering for years. As well as learning the basics we prepared some intriguing recipes such as curried meatballs with tatties. While this dish was certainly not a hit in our house, it taught me that it pays to experiment with flavours and even if the experiment fails spectacularly you can learn from your mistakes (in this case never to combine meatballs, curry and mashed potato in the same dish again!).
Sadly, I never made Scotch Mist at school although it was always one of those alluring grown-up desserts I hankered after as an early teen. This is my interpretation of a dessert which has many variations. Some include oats rather than meringue. Others use strawberries or raspberries. I have used blood oranges because they are in season in January and their zingy flavour brightens up what can otherwise be a gloomy month following December’s festivities. I also think citrus, honey and whisky have a natural affinity. Think of this version as a wickedly indulgent hot toddy – perfect as a finale to a Burns Night Supper.
The recipe below serves four people generously but will stretch to six if you wish to serve more restrained portions. Stages 1 – 4 can be prepared in advance but I wouldn’t combine all the ingredients too far in ahead as the mixture may separate.
Serves 4 – 6
- 2 largish blood oranges
- 3 tbsp whisky
- 4 tbsp runny honey (I use heather honey but any runny honey will do)
- 200ml double cream
- 200g mascarpone cheese
- 4 meringue nests (shop bought are fine)
- Finely grate the zest from one of the oranges. Place in a large bowl with 2 tbsp of whisky and the honey. Mix until thoroughly combined. If you wish, you can use a zester to pare thin strips of peel from the remaining orange to decorate your dessert.
- Remove the rind including the white pith from each orange. Cut the oranges into segments then roughly chop. Place in a separate bowl with the remaining whisky.
- Using an electric mixer on a medium speed gradually beat in the cream into the honey and whisky mixture until it forms stiff peaks. Add the mascarpone then briefly beat again until combined.
- Crush the meringue until you have a mass of uneven pieces (don’t go mad with this – you want chunks rather than dust!).
- Fold the crushed meringues and orange pieces into the cream mixture. Divide between four wine glasses or dishes then serve shortly after.