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simple local vegetables

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Sunday, 3 October 2010

The real stuff..Les choses veritable - Echte Sachen...

Now we can get down to the real things.....
As a kid, I had the right (as my brother and sister too) on my birthday, to expect a "Cloutie Dumpling" as the evening meal. Normally there were silver sixpenny pieces hidden in it, and if you didn'y swallow them whole, and had to await the passage of time, then you collected them and hoped there wouldn't be a crisis in the family accounts (which there often was) requiring the "giving back" of said silver pieces!
In a Religious Minister's hous, we NEVER found the famous 40 pieces of silver, but one or two were welcome as well!
SCOTTISH COOKING - oh yes, it exists!

Clootie Dumpling Recipe

The Clootie Dumpling Recipe or as it is sometimes spelt "Cloutie", gets its name from the "clout" or cloth in which it was traditionally boiled. This is a favourite all year round, but especially at Christmas, alongsideChristmas Cake. The other famous dried fruit dish which is traditionally served at Hogmanay is Black Bun which is encased in pastry and cooked in the oven. If you're planning a Scottish celebration and want to include this recipe, but aren't so keen on haggis, why not try this simple Roast Turkey Recipeor a delicious Roast Venison for your main course.
However, if YOU have a Scottish Recipe you'd like to share with others on this site, please contributeHERE
By the way, if you live in North America or Canada and want to try out different Scottish Food without having to make it, there are a number of delicious products you can buy that are Made in US. These can be shipped to you direct.
However, back to the 'Clootie' - there have been many variations over the years, as cooks have experimented. Here's a couple.
The Recipe below is one given to me by friend Susan. I first met her when she and her husband lived in Fife. I have to confess that the first time I tried to make it (years ago), I obviously didn't follow her Clootie Dumpling Recipeexactly! I forgot to 'wet' the cloth - and needless to say - it didn't turn out quite as I had hoped! It was one awful sticky mess.
Susan and her husband Howard run a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Inveraray on the west coast of Scotland. A great place to stay if you are in that part of Scotland.
I can't promise that her Clootie Dumpling Recipe will be on the Menu, but I CAN promise you will be made very welcome! Check out the website for their Bed and Breakfast here.

Clootie Dumpling and Jug of Custard
Clootie Dumpling and jug of custard

Susan said, "My clootie dumpling recipe is probably pretty basic, as you can do all sorts of fancy variations - I remember my Aunt May adding treacle and grated carrots and chopped up apple with all the other bits, but it still tastes good." I'll vouch for that, Susan!
By the way if you're not sure of these types of measurements - ckeck out theWeights and Measurements Charts.

Clootie Dumpling Recipe

Recipe by Susan Spicer


1 lb Self Raising Flour
1 lb Fruit (sultanas, raisins)
4 oz Atora suet
1 cup Sugar
2 pkts Mixed Spices (wee tubs about 28 – 32mgs)
Approx. ¾ pint Cold Water

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl then add water a bit at a time, sometimes it doesn’t need the lot, sometimes it does!
  • Take your WET muslin cloth (about 0.5m2) soaked in cold water and wrung out
  • Lay it out flat on surface and shake flour over the area the dumpling will be in (this is important as this waterproofs your cloth!)
  • Pour your mix into the middle and shake some flour over the top - the thicker the covering the thicker the skin!
  • Gently gather together all the edges of your cloth and pull into the middle – hold tight with no gaps to let the water into the clootie.
  • Leave about a 25cm distance between the top of the dumpling and your hand and get someone to tie a string really tightly around below your fist. (This gives the dumpling room to grow and expand!).
  • Make sure you have a big pot of boiling water with either a trivet or an upside down saucer in the bottom (so it doesn’t stick to the pot!).
  • Gently lower the clootie into the pot and keep the water boiling (always keep the kettle filled and boiled ready to top it up.
  • Water should be quite high in the pot but not covering the top/centre of the dumpling) and lay a wooden spoon over the top of the pot and drapethe excess cloth over it for at least the first 20 minutes boiling (if it lies on top of the dumpling it can make the top soggy!).
  • Boil for 2 ¼ hours with a lid on –keep checking and topping up water (or if using a pressure cooker 20 mins pre-steam then 50 mins low pressure).
  • When the times up, lift it very carefully onto a plate that can take the heat, untie the string (very hot, ouch, ouch!!).
  • Very gently take the clootie off, lay a plate on its head and invert it to remove the cloth from the bottom. (again very carefully or you lose the skin!)
  • Put it in a low heat oven for about 20-30 mins just to dry it off.
  • Remove it to let it cool off - if you can leave it that long, yummy, yummy!!!!!!!!
  • Wash out the cloth while you’re waiting and then it’s ready for the next time!

Clootie with custard
Clootie with custard

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