(throw away your calorie counter – it is Christmas after all)
1. What is your recipe?
Recipe from Mairi Thompson
1 pint/500 millilitres milk
8 ounces/225 grams butter (cubed)
4 pounds/1.8 kilograms sugar (super fine/caster)
1 pound/450 grams condensed milk
Optional: vanilla, chocolate or whisky flavourings as desired
Lightly grease a baking tray with butter and set aside.
Use a large heavy based pan (non-stick or stainless steel will do), at least, a 2 litre/4 pint pan because it doubles in quantity as it heats, so the bigger the better.
This mixture gets HOT so wear an apron, use a long wooden spoon, and oven mits and goggles if you want.
It is important to keep stirring all the time to avoid sticking or burning.
Heat the milk to a low simmer then add the butter and stir until melted.
Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Raise the heat to high and bring to a hard boil for 5 minutes.
Once boiling, stir in the condensed milk, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes – don’t stop stirring.
Take off the heat and beat vigorously for five minutes, or until the mixture starts to feel more ‘stiff’ and ‘gritty’ under the spoon.
You can add flavoring now if you wish.
Pour into the baking tray.
Soak the cooking pan in warm, soapy water as soon as you’ve poured the mixture into the baking tray.
Allow the mixture to cool a little and then mark it off into bars, or squares with a sharp knife.
Refrigerate overnight (yes, this is the difficult part). The tablet is ready to eat when fully cooled. Cut or break into squares, or bars scored into squares, wrap in waxed paper, and store in an airtight jar or tin.
Wrap in clear film and tie with festive ribbon for gift giving.
Enjoy with an after dinner tea or coffee, or with a Hogmanay (New Year) whisky.
2. What is it about this recipe that you love?
I love its sweet, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth indulgence. Very comforting on a cold wintry day.
3. How did you learn to make this recipe?
I think most children in Scotland love tablet but, because it’s boiling sugar, we had to wait, and wait, and wait, until we were big enough to help our mums. My mum had a sweet tooth and baked a lot.
4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the recipe.
When I moved to Prague, I thought it would be nice to make a batch of tablet to share with my new friends. However, it turned out to be way too sweet for them, so I ended up eating most of it. One friend realized it made a good accompaniment to their vodka & tonic though. Thank goodness, I’d used up a fair bit of calories making it – there’s a reason for that stirring continuously for 30 minutes part!
5. What are your social media sites?
Facebook: Mairi Design
Facebook: Mairi Thompson
Google +: Mairi Thompson
WordPress: Sea Glass Collection
Blogspot: Sea Glass Collection Blog