Traditional Scottish recipe: Tablet

This Neil Forbes recipe for tablet is perfect for creating this traditional Scottish treat, which has been a favourite for Scots for generations.

Published: December 15, 2023
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Traditional Scottish recipe: Tablet

If you would like to make your own milk jam (homemade condensed milk), start this recipe by mixing 800ml of milk and 800g of sugar in a pot, then boil them together until a thick cream consistency is achieved. It can be flavoured with vanilla if you like.

1 Oil a large roasting tray with sides and lay on a sheet of silicone paper.

2 Melt the butter along with the condensed milk (or milk jam - see above) and the 800g whole milk on a medium heat in a large, thick-bottomed pot.

Then dissolve the sugar into the mixture.

Bring it to the boil on a moderate heat and stir as often as you possibly can.

Be careful as this gets very hot, so wear an apron and gloves if you need to.

4 After 10 minutes or so you will see the colour changing to a light brown. This is a good thing.

It must be kept on the boil, so use the thermostat on your appliance to keep a steady and quite vigorous boil.

After around half an hour the mixture will be quite caramel in colour and the texture in the pot will change.

It will almost start to solidify on the edge of the pot.

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Once it reaches around 114.5C it should be fine to set.

6 Remove the pot from the heat and use an electric whisk to carefully whisk the mixture for at least five minutes.

(Beating the mix gives it the characterful texture and allows it to set better too).

7 Pour into the prepared, lined tin, scraping the sides of the pot to get every last drop.

Allow it to cool slightly, then score the top of the tablet into 1-inch squares before cooling thoroughly near an open window.

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Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight tub.

Enjoy and don’t tell your dentist!

Scottish tablet. Picture: Creative Commosn

Scottish tablet. Picture: Creative Commons


  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 800ml whole milk
  • 800ml condensed milk or home-made milk jam (you will need an additional 800ml of whole milk and 800g of sugar for this, plus an optional vanilla pod)
  • 1.8kg unrefined caster sugar
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