A Scot exiled (albeit voluntarily) in England, I have to admit to missing Scottish food more than my family.
You can get semi-decent Haggis. I’ve even found Arbroath Smokies at the local fishmonger, but I can’t find a white pudding (and I don’t mean the sub-standard Irish version), macaroni pie (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it ), or decent Scottish tablet for love or money.
I was ‘weaned’ on tablet. A traditional sweet which dates back to the 18th century, it’s a bit like fudge, only grainier and crumblier and it melts in the mouth. It also makes your teeth scream, but don’t let that put you off.
When we got married, we treated our guests to a wee bit homemade Scottish tablet as a ‘favour’ and it was a roaring success. Although I admit that batch was made by a family friend.
It was so good that we weren’t five minutes back from our honeymoon before the
demands requests for more began.
Since then I’ve tried LOADS of different recipes to try and recreate the taste and this version- adapted from this recipe – is by far the best.
- Use a big pan. The sugar swells when simmering
- Tablet should not be eaten as part of a calorie controlled diet
- It’s hot and it burns. Be careful. Nuff said.
- 55g unsalted butter (do not use margarine or olive oil spreads. It has to be butter!)
- 250ml semi skimmed milk
- 900g cane or granulated sugar
- 397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
- A dram or two of good whisky (I use Laphroaig).
- In a large pan, melt the butter with the milk
- Slowly add the sugar and boil briskly for four minutes
- Gradually stir in the condensed milk making sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
- Bring back to the boil and boil for approximately 20 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a golden toffee colour. Be careful as the tablet will be very hot! (The change in colour is the key, if it turns before 20 mins, drop a teaspoon full into a glass of cold water. If it’s ready it will form a ball.)
- Remove the pan from the heat, wait 30 seconds and then add the whisky
- Beat vigorously until it starts to firm up (about 10 mins)
- Pour into a 23cm square cake tin, lined with baking paper
- Scrape the rest off the pan with a spoon and eat (optional)
- Leave the tablet to set for ten minutes or so and then score into square chunks. Once set, slice into small square chunks.
Gorgeous, teeth achy tablet.