Peach Melba Cranachan – a twist on a Scottish classic dessert

Peach Melba Cranachan – a twist on a Scottish classic dessert

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In Scotland, the berry season is hotting up as much as the weather itself.  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, tayberries, strawberries, red, white and black currants, loganberries, brambles, gooseberry – we are spoiled for choice.

When faced with a fresh juicy pile of berries all I really want to do is bury my face in them. Raw is usually the way I go, but here in Scotland, where berries are quite a thing, they have a fantastic, rather decadent, dessert where they are the star. As well as toasted oats, cream and, um, whisky – it is Scotland’s national drink.

Cranachan – pronounced CRAH-nuh-kun – is a much-loved pudding style of dessert typically consisting of sweetened, toasted oats (usually pinhead rather than porridge/rolled), fragrant raspberries, a luxurious soft cheese called crowdie, and a good measure of whisky. Unbelievably, this rather boozy pudding used to be a breakfast dish! Modern, healthier, interpretations abound, so I thought I would throw my bunnet into the ring and come up with my own.

My version doesn’t stray far from the original, but I have lightened things up just a little, cut back on the whisky and used homemade, fruit-free granola to replace the sugared pinhead oats. I’ve also layered rather than marbled the whole thing, more because I am rubbish at marbling. I would just get pink cream rather than pretty garnet swirls.

Where I’ve really gone a bit mad is adding peaches into the mix. I was trying to cut a bit of the added sugar so hit upon the idea of a peach melba – for you youngsters, that is culinary code for peach and raspberry flavours. And it really works. So, if you have some very ripe peaches, do use them.

As we are really quite flush with berries in the summer months, I tend to do a lot with them. Here are some Food To Glow berry recipes if you fancy a little summer fruits inspiration:

18 Berry Recipes For Summer

Rose and Summer Berries “Skinnifreddo” (Semifreddo)

Quick Hot Chocolate Sauce with Iced Berries

Summer Berries Crumble Tart

Sichuan Chocolate Strawberries

Mega-Berry Green Smoothie

Bircher-Style Granola with Berry-Cherry Compote

Blueberry and Rhubarb Cardamom Crunch Bars

Blueberry and Cardamom Banana Cake

Mini Blueberry, White Peach and Goat’s Cheese Galettes

Blackberry Buckle

Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Fudgsicles

Fruity Summer Rolls with Raw Blueberry Dipping Sauce

Rhubarb and Strawberry Salad with Almonds, Mint and Lemon Verbena

Creamy Blood Orange and Berry Smoothie

Berry-Burst Chia Pudding

Pom-Berry Pear Juice

Plum-Berry Upside-Down Skillet Cobbler

Pakistani Gooseberry Pickle (Amla)

What is your favourite berry, and how do you like to eat it?

Peach Melba CranachanServings: 4 generously

Difficulty: easy


Food To Glow’s healthier twist on Scotland’s classic berry, whisky and oat dessert.


  • 18 Berry Recipes For Summer
  • 250-300g fresh ripe raspberries
  • 400g Quark (or half Quark and half double cream/heavy cream)
  • 1 tbsp best honey (a heather honey is authentic)
Read the whole recipe on food to glow