Clootie Dumpling is a traditional Scottish fruit pudding. It's super served freshly made and hot on it's own or with custard. Also popular fried along with sausages on a Sunday morning. No wonder Scots have a history of heart disease...
Anyway - Clootie Dumpling gets it's name from the cloth it is cooked in. The prepared mix is put into a cotton cloth (pillowcase would do if that's all you have) and loosely tied with string to leave room for expansion. It is then put into a pot of boiling water and boiled for 4 hours. The pot will regularly need topping up with water to cover the dumpling.
Oliver and I went a trip up to Scotland last weekend to see my parents (his grand parents). Having recently had his birthday - there was a promise of clootie dumpling. I've not had clootie dumpling in years. My Gran (who is no longer with us unfortunately) used to make us a dumpling every birthday instead of cake as per our heritage tradition. Underneath our slice would be hidden our lucky coin (wrapped in either greaseproof paper or foil).
The recipe as follows belonged to my Gran and was passed to her by her mother (my great grandmother) - so dates back to around 1850.
Oliver helped his Nanny make the dumpling ! For once, I had no part in this other than in the eating. I'll apologise now - I couldn't get any photos in decent lighting in the kitchen...
Recipe for Clootie Dumpling - Jean Inglis Knights
4 cups plain flour
2 rounded teasp baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons black treacle
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
mix with milk or water as required to combine
You want a really thick porridge like consistency - almost verging on dough. It's not like a bread dough - just mix well with a wooden spoon.
See the video and Oliver will show you how !
Wet the dumpling cloth and then flour it. Tip the dumpling mix onto the cloth. Gather, and tie loosely to leave room for expansion. Not really loose. The dumpling is going to get about 50% bigger and needs to fill the cloth. Too saggy, and you'll end up with a bag of gunge after cooking !
Here is a tied clootie....
Now - this needs to go into a large pot of boiling water and be regularly topped up. Cook for 4 hours.
After cooking, remove from pot and take off the cloth. The cloth can be washed and reused. My mum still uses my grandmother's cloth.
The outside will be pale and sticky. You now need to pop it into an oven at around 180deg C for a short time for the skin on the outside to dry off. As soon as the outside starts to dry and look a little leathery, it's ready to serve.