As I have mentioned before, I am a big fan of turning surplus fruit into alcoholic beverages, such as strawberry bourbon or strawberry liqueur. Years ago when I lived in London I was fortunate to be just a few minutes walk from woodland which would be abundant with sloes and blackberries in the late summer and autumn. The classic English tipple of sloe gin was my introduction to the alchemy of infusing fruit in alcohol to create something wonderful.
Since those days I have expanded my repertoire of fruit infusions. Most of them follow the simple method used for making sloe gin but occasionally I seek out a new recipe idea or technique. One great resource for this is “River Cottage Booze” by John Wright, a renowned forager from across the pond who regularly writes in The Guardian as well as appearing on River Cottage TV programmes. It was from him that I found this recipe for blackberry whisky. I recently bottled some after a long infusion, and whilst the bottles will now quietly mature for another year or two, I had the more immediate reward of a batch of whisky infused blackberries.
My answer of what to do with them was inspired by the Scottish dessert of cranachan, traditionally made with whipped cream, whisky, honey, raspberries and oats. Usually, the whisky is added to the whipped cream but as I already had blackberries that had been soaking in whisky for many months I felt I had enough alcohol in the dish. After their long infusion the blackberries tasted good but had lost a little of their colour and were a little on the dull side in terms of appearance, so I crushed all of them to stir into the dish. If using fresh fruit you can reserve some for garnish.
Whisky-Infused Blackberry Cranachan
4oz whisky infused blackberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbs honey
Put the oats on a baking tray under a moderate grill for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently, until they are lightly toasted.
Crush the whisky infused blackberries.
Whip the heavy whipping cream until thick. I used a stand mixer but you could do it by hand or use a hand held electric mixer.
Once the cream is thick, stir in the honey, and then gently fold in the oats followed by the fruit.
Spoon into two serving dishes and serve immediately.