I spent the last two months in Edinburgh, Scotland. Had you asked me back in the Spring you might recall Scotland was not in “my plan” for how I thought this year would pan out. But I am so glad it was. I met many great people there and witnessed and partook in all sorts of missional initiatives, community groups and casual but divinely appointed conversations had over things like tea, flapjacks, scones, millionaire shortbread and of course, fish and chips. I thought it only fitting to include a post in tribute to some of the yummy Scottish specialties I sampled over the last 8 weeks.
Speaking of fish and chips… it came as little surprise to me when I heard tradition has it this iconic British specialty was actually first invented by an Italian immigrant!
Half pound (225g) boiled and mashed potatoes
2.5oz (65g) flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Half teaspoon salt
Mash the potatoes while they are still warm and add the butter and salt. Add in enough flour to make it a pliable dough but without making it too dry. The type of potato will affect this. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll until about quarter of an inch thick. Cut into six-inch circles and then into quarters. Prick all over with a fork and cook in a heavy pan which has been lightly greased. Cook each side for about three minutes or until golden brown. If you want to really add the calories, put cheese between two scones and cook until the cheese has melted.
Flapjacks (not your American pancake)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 4 ½ oz/ 6 tbsp Golden Syrup or corn syrup
- 2 sticks/200g unsalted butter
- 12 oz/330g porridge oats
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas 4
- Butter a 9″x 13″/23cm x 33cm Swiss roll tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- Place the syrup and butter into a large saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted into the syrup and stir well. Make sure you add all the golden syrup, sometimes it is hard to get it exact and more is always better than less if you want your flapjacks gooey but not falling apart.
- Put the oats into a roomy baking bowl, add a pinch of salt then pour over the butter and syrup mixture and stir to coat the oats.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly to fill the tin making sure the surface is even.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven while the flapjacks are still slightly soft, they will harden once cool.
- Place the tin on a wire cooling rack and cut the flapjacks into squares and leave in the tin until completely cold.
The flapjacks keep well stored in an airtight tin.
Cullen Skink – (a Scottish soup with smoked fish, leeks and potatoes)
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 leek, well-rinsed, chopped
and cut into rough 2cm cubes
1 litre fish stock
200g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 2cm cubes
300g undyed smoked haddock fillet
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp whipping cream
Chives, roughly chopped
Warm the oil in a pan. Add the chopped leek, cover and gently cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the stock, bay leaf, potato and haddock. Season lightly with black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the haddock from the pan with a slotted spoon. When the fish is cool enough to handle, remove any skin and bones, then flake the haddock back into the pan.
Blend a ladle full of the soup in a liquidizer and return to the pan. Stir in the double cream and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Add more black pepper if necessary, then sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve.
Serve with chunks of fresh wholemeal or granary bread.
- Prep time: 1 hr
- Cook time: 50 min
- Makes: 24 squares
For the base
For the topping
- 175 g butter
- 175 g caster sugar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 x 397 g can condensed milk
- 200 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1. Set the oven to 160C/gas2. Lightly grease a 20cm x 33cm oblong/ Swiss roll tin.
2. Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz together until they form a smooth dough (if preferred this can be done by hand in a bowl).
3. Press the mixture into the base of the Swiss roll tin and prick with a fork. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.
4. To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.
5. Bubble the mixture gently for five to eight minutes, stirring all the time until thick and fudge-like. Pour over the cold shortbread in an even layer. Leave to cool.
6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
7. Pour the chocolate over the toffee and leave to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.