Flummery, a semi-set dessert, was popular in Ireland and Britain from the 17th to the 19th century. Including oatmeal, honey – and whiskey for an extra kick – this is a dessert with a difference.

In Ireland flummery, in a more simple form, made with bread and milk, was mentioned as a supper for sick inmates in the workhouses in the 1840s.

Flummery traces its origins back to medieval times, when it was a popular dish in the kitchens of noble households. Initially, flummery was a savory dish made from boiled grains like oats or wheat. However, over time, the recipe evolved to incorporate sweet ingredients, resulting in the birth of the dessert we know and love today.

The writer Bill Bryson described flummery as an early form of blancmange. It was first mentioned in Gervaise Markham’s 1623 “Country Contentments” or the “English Housewife”. She wrote, “From this small Oat-meale, by oft steeping it in water and clensing it, and then boyling it to a thicke and stiffe jelly, is made that excellent dish of meat which is so esteemed in the West parts of this Kingdome, which they call Wash-brew, and in Chesheire and Lankasheire they call it Flamerie or Flumerie."

Flummery recipe


- 1/3 cup almonds (sliced)

- 2 ounces Irish oatmeal

- 1 cup heavy cream

- 4 tablespoons honey

- 1/4 cup Irish whiskey

- 2 teaspoons lemon juice

- 1 -2 cup berries (optional).


Whip the cream until smooth, but not stiff.

Warm the honey VERY slightly, so that it will run easily.

Fold the honey, whiskey, half of the toasted almonds and oatmeal, half the berries (if using them) and the lemon juice into the cream.

Mix thoroughly but lightly, and spoon into tall individual glasses. (looks lovely in wine or champagne glasses).

Sprinkle the remaining almonds/oatmeal and berries on top.

Chill and serve.

Source: Food.