Have you heard of flummery or sowans, its Scottish name?
This is an old fashioned found dessert found across the British isles made with oats and cream and flavoured with orange juice.
It's a set dessert, where the oats make a natural jelly and a distinctive taste.
The milk jelly is then covered with a layer of honey and whiskey and topped with a dollop of cream for even more indulgence!
This is a great make ahead, creamy orange dessert, for when you are entertaining and it's easy to make it child friendly too.
I came upon this dessert in an old farmhouse cookery book and was intrigued by the use of cereals to make a natural jelly.
It's no great suprise really, given that, when you cook porridge it starts to set as it cools. However, with this recipe you do need to be organised as the oats need to soak for 48 hours.
Traditionally, flummery, (the name comes from A Welsh word meaning plain or bland), was a dish given to those with a delicate digestion or people who were sick, but it was also a popular dessert in the 1700s to 1900s.
Oats are left in water for 2 days and then the oat water is boiled to make a jelly that was combined with milk and flavourings. This was a very frugal dish, where poorer households would also eat the soaked oats.
Why you will love this dish?
- No gelatine required
- Perfect for making in advance
- Great dessert for entertaining
- Easy to make child friendly
- Lots of flavour variations
- Oats - porridge oats
- Cream - double cream for the dessert and for the whipped cream topping.
- Sugar - caster or fine sugar ideally.
- Oranges - clementines fo their intense flavour.
- Honey - clear honey.
- Whiskey - or Bourbon
- Cornflour - or cornstarch for extra thickening.
See recipe card for quantities.
- measuring jug
- wooden spoon
- sharp knife
- 4 serving glasses or bowls
Measure the oats into a measuring jug and top up with water to the 500ml or 18 fl oz mark.
Leave for 48 hours for the mixture to steep.
Place a sieve over a saucepan and strain the oat water into it.
Use a wooden spoon to press out the liquid.
Juice the oranges and the juice to the saucepan with the sugar.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.
💭 Top Tip
- The mixture should be the consistency of a really thick custard. If the mixture is not thick enough combine the cornflour with water and stir into the mixture until it is thicker.
Let the custard cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the cream.
⏲️ Chilling Time
Divide between 4 glasses and chill for an hour until set.
Pour over the honey and whiskey.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape then place in a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
Pipe the cream onto the middle of the flummery.
If you don't want to pipe the cream just use a teaspoon to dollop the cream.
🥗 Serve with
Serve with a delicious biscuit on the side for dunking and munching.
- Sable Biscuits
- Shrewsbury Biscuits
- Amaretti biscuits
- Viennese Finger Biscuits
- Chocolate and Hazelnut Shortbread
- Honey - use golden syrup, light corn syrup or maple syrup.
- Oats - use oatmeal or cracked wheat.
- Whiskey - use Bourbon.
- Clementines - replace with ready prepared orange juice.
- Child friendly - omit the alcohol and use a little extra honey.
- Alcohol - use brandy, sherry or a sweet white wine.
- Fruit - use lemon juice instead or crushed raspberries. Put some fresh raspberries at the bottom of the glass.
- Decorations - use fruit pieces, grated chocolate or orange / lemon zest to top the cream,
- Refrigerator - refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing.
Blancmange was originally a European dish of meat in a set sauce. Over the years it evolved into a dessert, commonly thickened with cornflour.
Flummery is similar, in that it has a natural thickening agent, that needs to be heated to activate the thickening process.
They are both set desserts.
Pannacotta looks very similar to blancmange and flummery, but is set with gelatin and is not cooked in the same way.
A similar dessert to the Italian panna cotta is French bavarois
More desserts like this
- Lemon Syllabub
- Bailey's Sabayon
- Chocolate Delice
- Bailey's Crème Brûlée
- Chocolate Bavarois
- Lavender Crème Brûlée
- Lemon Tart
- Chocolate Mousse
- measuring jug
- Wooden spoon
- Sharp knife
- 4 serving glasses or bowls
- 3 tablespoon oats
- 500 ml water
- 150 ml orange juice
- 2 tablespoon caster sugar
- 150 ml double cream heavy
For the decoration
- 75 ml double cream
- 2 tablespoon whiskey
- 2 tablespoon honey
- Measure the oats into a measuring jug and top up with water to the 500ml or 18 fl oz mark. Leave for 48 hours for the mixture to steep.
- Place a sieve over a saucepan and strain the oat water into it.
- Juice the oranges and add the juice to the saucepan with the sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil over a medium heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.
- Let the custard cool for 5 minutes and then stir in the cream.
- Divide between 4 glasses and chill for an hour until set.
- Pour over the honey and whiskey.
- Whip the cream until it just holds its shape then place in a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Pipe the cream onto the middle of the flummery.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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