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Punjabi Cranachan

Punjabi Cranachan - Anjum's New IndianIf you’re looking for a delicious, traditionally inspired dessert that’s a bit of a talking point, Punjabi Cranachan, from Anjum’s New Indian, could be the one. “Punjabis love whisky”, says Anjum, “And cranachan (a Scottish dessert made from porridge oats, honey, whisky and cream) could have almost been Punjabi in origin.

It is a hallmark of Indian cooks that they spice up and make their own any foreign ingredients and dishes that come their way, so it feels quite natural to do it here... with an almond cream, which adds a wonderful flavour and almost tastes like kheer. It can all be made in advance and, assembled when ready to serve, is delicious, cooling and beautiful.”

Serves 4-5

3 egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar, plus extra to sweeten the berries, to taste
11/2 tsp cornflour
450ml whole milk
60g ground almonds (freshly ground have more flavour)
35g porridge oats
300g blackberries (or alternative berries)
200ml double cream
3-4 tbsp whisky (Anjum likes to use single malt)
30g flaked almonds, toasted icing sugar, for dusting.

Beat together the yolks and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Set aside.

Dissolve the cornflour in a little of the milk, then place in a saucepan with the remaining milk and ground almonds and bring to the boil over a low heat. Cook for another minute, then pour into the beaten egg yolks and sugar, whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, bring back to the boil over a low heat, then cook until it thickens a little more, another 4-5 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm, pressing it onto the surface to prevent a skin forming, and allow to cool.

Toast the porridge oats in a dry frying pan over a lowish heat, stirring often. This takes 4-5 minutes, but keep an eye on the oats as they can burn easily. Set aside to cool.

Purée 50g of the blackberries with enough sugar to sweeten (Anjum uses a spoon or two and sharpens with a little lemon juice). Mix in the remaining berries.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Stir a little of the cream into the almond cream to loosen it, then fold in the rest, along with the cooled oats and the whisky. Taste and adjust the sweetness.

Layer up the cranachan in a large glass bowl or individual glasses. Start with the almond cream, top with berries and flaked almonds and repeat. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

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