So maybe I got a bit greedy when I stopped by the farm for strawberries. They told me it'd be their last day of picking, the season had come to a close and friends, these strawberries are unlike any berry you've ever had. They are crimson red in their entirety and the juice seeps through your fingers like a summer peach. I bought six pints to have an appropriate strawberry binge before I wouldn't see them for another year. Fresh as they are, they turn pretty quickly, so there have been a lot of strawberry snacks. I ate most of them straight from the basket, made this again, put them in salad, on coconut gelato, and mashed up the rest in their last possible moment before turning on me for these yogurt cups.
Cranachan is a snack from Scotland, which is traditionally whipped cream, whiskey, honey, raspberries and toasted oats. This is not traditional in any sense of the word, but since I got the idea from Nigel Slater, I figured I could describe this as such. You can't go in expecting granola, because it has a mouth feel closer to muesli than granola (drier, no crunch). Most recipes I crossed sweeten the oats and because I am such a granola fan, I couldn't help myself from adding nuts (there must be crunch!). I lightened it up by using greek yogurt and added a bit of cocoa to compliment the swirl of sweet berries. They save for a day or two, so I've packed up a few to have on hands for an afternoon sweet tooth.
YOGURT, STRAWBERRIES + "CRANACHAN" // Serves 4
Inspiration from Nigel Slater's Ripe
The strawberries I used were super ripe, and I would suggest you use the same if possible, as they yield a sweeter, juicier sauce. You could use frozen as well if you only come across immature, tart berries. The amount of sugar to get just a barely sweetened strawberry mash is up to you.
// cocoa cranachan //
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
1/3 cup muscavado or light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
plain, lowfat Greek yogurt
1 pint ripe strawberries
2 tsp. natural cane sugar
Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking tray and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they turn lightish brown and just begin to smell nutty. While the oats toast, put the hazelnuts, muscavado, cocoa, maple and salt in a bowl. As soon as you pull out the oats, put them into the bowl of goodies and toss them around so the sugar melts onto the oats. *Typically, this is where cranachan would be done but the muscavado didn't melt well for me, so I put the mixture back in the oven for another 6 minutes to help it stick to the oats and nuts. If yours needs more heat to melt the sugar, just pop the tray back in. Remove to cool.
Halve or quarter the strawberries and put them in a large mixing bowl with the sugar. Give them a rough mash, but enough to get some juice out. Adjust sugar as preferred.
Prepare your treats with a scoop of yogurt, scoop of berries and scoop of the cranachan. Repeat if you'd like the layered effect.