Clootie dumpling is a traditional Scottish pudding, Usually most closely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay, or for holidays as a celebration cake. Many Scots will have fond memories of their grandmothers or their mothers making it.

If you haven’t tried this comforting pudding, why not try making a clootie dumpling this Christmas instead of your usual Christmas pudding?

For those of you who don’t know what it is, a clootie dumpling is a spiced fruit pudding that is then wrapped in a muslin cloth and simmered in water until cooked. Usually served with custard, and of course, a wee dram!, You can buy Clootie dumpling cloths online, or, you can use a piece of muslin cloth, the choice is yours.

SHOPPING LIST

500g plain flour (or plain cake flour)

200g beef suet

250g castor sugar

250g raisins

250g sultanas

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 bramley apple, peeled and grated

3 tbsp black treacle

100ml whole milk • extra plain flour for dusting

METHOD

1.Dip your dumpling cloot into the boiling pot of water to soak it for a few minutes.

2. Wring it out to remove the excess water.

3. Now spread the cloot over a large work surface and dust it fairly generously with plain flour. The layer of flour does not need to be thick but do make it even.

4. The wet cloot and flour combine to form a protective glue-like waterproof surface so make sure the flour reaches far enough to the edges of the cloot, so that the flour will cover the whole dumpling when the cloot is drawn up around it.

5. Empty the dumpling mixture on to the cloot and draw up the cloot around it.

6. Tie it with string, wrapping the string twice around, tie it twice as tight as can be pulled.

7. When you tie the cloot leave a bit of spare room at the top, for the dumpling will expand a little. Make sure to cut a generous length of string so you can tie the excess on to the pot handles to suspend the cloot when it is submerged in the water.

8. Put the lid on and keep on a low simmer for 4 hours.

9. When the dumpling is ready you can lift it out by the string that was attached to the handle. Remove the cloot and transfer the dumpling to a baking tray.

10. Dry the dumpling in a 180˚C preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

11. When you first remove the cloot you will have a white glutinous skin which covers the surface of the dumpling. After it has been in the oven it will become darker and form a nice crust on the outside of the dumpling.

12. When you’re ready to serve, slice your Clootie pudding into portions, serve in warm bowls with custard, or ice cream, and definitely a wee dram of whisky or Drambuie

Absolutely fantastic, a wonderful pudding to grace any table,

Happy cooking

Jon

Written by Jon Fell

Head Chef Rosehill Theatre, Chef on the Simply Good Food TV app, run a Seafood Cookery Class at Peter Sidwell Cookery School, Newspaper food columnist

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