Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Discover this delicious sweet Scottish treat!
Prep time: 0
Cooking time: about 45 minutes
Inactive time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Yields 30 to 40 squares
Gluten/Soy Free and Lacto-vegetarian
Rich, sweet, creamy, and just delicious! This Scottish treat is the best! Made with 5 simple ingredients (butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk)... bound to become a favorite!
It is not secret that Scotland holds a special place in my heart. I love the country, its people and culture...and above all: its food! This recipe was shared by my dear friend, Fiona. She is a true Scot from the Isle of Arran, located in the Firth of Clyde on the West coast of Scotland. I consider Arran to be one of the most beautiful yet less visited places in Scotland.
Although this is Fiona’s recipe I made minor changes to maximize the flavor profile of the dish: I decreased the amount of sugar, increased the amount of condensed milk, and added more vanilla. Now... Fiona made a very good point when she shared her recipe: it's less about the recipe than it should be the technique. I followed her technique and the results were a delicious brittle creamy tablet!
What is Scottish Tablet?
Tablet, taiblet in Scots, is a medium-hard, sugary confection from Scotland usually made from sugar, condensed milk, and butter, which is boiled to a soft-ball stage and allowed to crystallize. It is often flavored with vanilla or whisky, and sometimes has nut pieces in it.
Commercially available tablet often uses fondant instead of the milk products. This produces a slightly less granular texture compared to the traditional home-made tablet, and is supposedly easier to prepare on a commercial scale.
What is the flavor profile?
Sweet, creamy, with vanilla notes.
What ingredients will I need to make this?
Unsalted butter, milk, sugar, condensed milk, and vanilla. You also will need oil to grease the baking dish the tablet will cool down in.
What else will I need to make this?
Can I make additions?
You can add nuts and/or whiskey for flavor. Just be careful about cross-contamination when it comes to libations.
Where is the Isle of Arran?
The Isle of Arran or simply Arran is an island off the west coast of Scotland. It is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and the seventh largest Scottish island, at 432 square kilometers (167 sq. mi).
Historically part of Buteshire, it is in the unitary council area of North Ayrshire. In the 2011 census it had a resident population of 4,629. Though culturally and physically similar to the Hebrides, it is separated from them by the Kintyre peninsula. Often referred to as "Scotland in Miniature", the island is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault and has been described as a "geologist's paradise"
Arran has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period. Numerous prehistoric remains have been found. From the 6th century onwards, Goidelic-speaking peoples from Ireland colonized it and it became a centre of religious activity. In the troubled Viking Age, Arran became the property of the Norwegian crown, until formally absorbed by the kingdom of Scotland in the 13th century. The 19th-century "clearances" led to significant depopulation and the end of the Gaelic language and way of life. The economy and population have recovered in recent years, the main industry being tourism. There is a diversity of wildlife, including three species of tree endemic to the area.
The island includes miles of coastal pathways, numerous hills and mountains, forested areas, rivers, small lochs and beaches. Its main beaches are at Brodick, Whiting Bay, Kildonan, Sannox and Blackwaterfoot.
For more information about Scotland and the Isle of Arran, click here.
8 tablespoons (4 oz) of unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups of milk
5 cups of refined sugar
14 oz of condensed milk
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
Grease a large baking dish, pan, or baking tray. Fiona used a 9" square pan. I used a large 13.7 in x 9.5 in (34.8 cm x 24.1 cm) baking dish. Use whatever you have but make sure it gives the tablet room to spread.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the milk and sugar. Bring to a medium boil and stir frequently with a wooden spoon for 20 minutes.
Add the condensed milk, bring again to a medium boil and stir for another 10 minutes
Remove from heat, add the vanilla and then beat vigorously with a whisk for 5 minutes.
Pour into a greased pan or baking dish and let it set. It will begin to harden as soon as it is poured onto the baking dish.
After 30 minutes score the top into squares with a sharp knife. Let it set for another hour before turning over. If the squares don't come out, just use a flat spatula so gently get then out. It is okay if they break into uneven shapes and pieces. They do not have to be perfect.
Printable recipe (pdf) below: