Celebrate Spring With These 4 Traditional Scottish Recipes
What better time than February to share some Scottish recipes for spring?
It might seem early but Imbolc, traditionally celebrated on the 1st of February is an old Scottish Festival that celebrates the coming of spring. Imbolc heralded longer, lighter nights and the coming of spring. It’s a time when snowdrops start to appear and it feels like we can finally shrug off winter’s dark cloak.
Our ancient ancestors worshipped the goddess Brigid, a personification of spring. As the goddess of light, healing and poetry she revives the earth from it’s wintry sleep. Some say she even did battle with the Callieach, Scotland’s ancient hag of winter!
To ensure prosperity and abundance for the coming year our ancestors would leave Brigid offerings of milk, bread and cakes. Egg yolk, butter, milk and honey were an important part of these offerings due to their association with the sun and new life. In Scotland we made The Bannock of Bride to honour the changing season.
If this Scottish lore has inspired you here’s 4 traditional Scottish recipes you can make to celebrate spring. Lay the table, put wild snowdrops in a vase and gather your friends and family for an evening of good food and conversation. Or, if you’re brave enough, bundle up and take your spring celebration outdoors for a picnic!
Raise a glass (or flask!) knowing that the darkest days are behind us.
Citrus Pitcaithly Bannocks – one of our favourite Scottish recipes for spring!
This Bannock recipe hails from Pitcaithly, a wee Perthshire town just up the road from Clootie HQ. Pitcaithly is the historic name of the hamlet now known as Pitkeathly Wells.
Traditionally the bannock would be cooked into a round then cut into quarters or ‘farls’. For luck you should leave one farl for Brigid. Sometimes pregnant women would leave a farl for the ‘Guid Folk’ or to prevent them stealing her child away!
These bannocks are buttery, flaky and the orange peel adds a zing of citrus. Sugar would have been a luxury when these Bannocks were first invented so the recipe relies on caraway seed, citrus peel and dried fruit to add sweetness and flavour. Best enjoyed over an afternoon coffee while watching the birds from the kitchen window.
4oz caster sugar
1lb plain flour
2oz mixed peel or finely grated fresh orange peel
2oz ground or finely chopped almonds
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl
2. Sift in the flour
3. Add the peel and almonds and work into a dough. This is the part of the process where Scots often whispered a rhyme to ensure prosperity for the coming year!
4. Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough until smooth.
5. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill overnight.
6. The next morning knead the dough again. Shape the dough into a round and place on a baking tray.
8. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden brown
Serve with tea or coffee and slather in butter for extra indulgence!
Scotch Eggs – a mainstay of Scottish picnics and perfect for Spring!
What’s more spring-like than an egg? These Scotch Eggs are Clootie McToot’s own recipe and are perfect to pack in a picnic or use as side dish for a spring celebration. It’s a Scottish recipe for spring that we use time and again.
50g Traditional or Apple / Pear and Cinnamon Clootie Dumpling Pudding cut into cubes or broken up into small pieces
400g minced pork sausage
90g of golden crispy bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 200 centrigade (400 fahrenheit). In large bowl, mix Clootie Dumpling, pork sausage, and salt. Shape mixture into 4 equal patties.
Roll each hard-cooked egg in flour to coat. Place on sausage patty and shape sausage around the egg.
Dip each into beaten egg.
Coat with bread crumbs to cover completely.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.
Asparagus and Salmon Flan – a Scottish recipe for spring using local ingredients
This is a deliciously savoury dish for the bright, spring days ahead! The salmon adds a moreish salty, smoked flavour and the buttery pastry is pure comfort food. Scotland is renowned for winter warmers and festive fare but Scottish spring recipes are every bit as tasty, especially if they draw on Scotland’s seasonal produce. If you don’t want to use aspargus, kale makes an excellent substitute.
Cut yourself a generous wedge and serve with salad leaves and juicy tomatoes from the farmer’s market.
- 225g flour
- 110g butter
- 40g lard or vegetable shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Handful of grated cheese
- 4 eggs
- 200 ml soured cream
- 50 ml milk
- Smoked Salmon
Note: You can use shop-bought pastry if you want to save time
- Mix all dry ingredients including the cheese into a food mixer and pulse until you get breadcrumbs
- Add an egg and water and pulse to combine the mixture
- Wrap in pastry and chill the dough in the fridge for an hour
- Roll out the pastry and then use it to line a round flan dish
- Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes
- Line the bottom of the tart with delicious strips of Scottish smoked salmon
- Place asparagus spears atop the salmon
- Whisk together milk, 1 egg, 2 egg yolks, soured cream and pepper to make a custard. Pour the custard over the flan
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the custard has set
Scottish Pancakes With Blackberry Jam
With Pancake Day around the corner, we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and throw in a pancake recipe! Scottish pancakes or ‘drop scones’ are thicker than the French ‘crepe’ pancake and perfect for spreading with butter and jam! They’re light, fluffy and fruity with the jam – a perfect Scottish recipe for spring!
- 175 grams plain flour
- 75 grams self-raising flour
- 75 grams caster superfine sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoon cooking oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon Golden syrup
- A pinch of salt
- 300 millilitres milk approximately
- Jar of blackberry jam (or jam of your choice)
- Sift the flours, raising agents, salt and sugar into a large bowl
- Add the oil, egg and golden syrup with a little of the milk
- Whisk together, adding the milk gradual until a smooth, silky batter forms
- Grease your frying pan and put on a medium heat
- Ladle your mixture into the pan. When bubbles come to the surface flip your pancake over
- Cook until the underside is slightly brown
- Lay on a rack to cool slightly
- Serve with butter and blackberry jam
I hope these traditional Scottish recipes have given you some ideas for an Imbolc feast! Or even just a weeknight treat. Our ancestors might have started celebrating the return of Spring in February but it’s still chilly out, so I’m happy to bundle on the layers and keep the pancakes coming!
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