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Clootie dumpling

Son1 has to provide something 'Scottish' for a going away party for a colleague. He asked for the recipe for a Clootie Dumpling.

Clootie dumpling has a long, long provenance in the British Isles; it's a reminder of the original cauldron cooking of the past.
A simmering pot on the hearth and everything was cooked in the one pot. Meat was stewed, as were bones, and vegetables and 'dumplings' of every kind, from haggis to black puddings to our iconic clootie dumpling were boiled in the same liquid. It made a rich thick stock for broth as well as cooking the meat and veggies.
The cauldron did come with two lids, the inner one was concave and the outer one was convex. The space between was used to bake breads.
It's rare to find the outer lid now, and virtually impossible to find the inner ones.

The Clootie Dumpling is I suppose much like the English Christmas Pudding that's boiled in it's bowl, but the cloth is heavily floured and that flour makes a skin on the dumpling. A sweet, tasty chewy bit of goodness
Three and a half hours simmering though, it fair steams up my kitchen these days.
Worth it though

Jamie's caught the bug; he phoned his Dad a little while ago. He photographed the pages in my recipe book, and he made my Clootie Dumpling yesterday (well, it's my Granny's recipe really) and he's making his other Granny's recipe today

Served hot, it's brilliant with cream, served cold it's good buttered, up here any left overs are fried like black pudding. No waste, not ever


Clootie Dumpling (ordinary, every day kind, not the spiced up and silver charms added Christmas one)

A circle of cloth, about 18" in diameter. Cotton or linen for preference.
Length of string, again about 18"
Boiling water and a big pot (think pressure cooker diameter, and quite deep)
Old plate for the bottom of the pot to keep the dumpling off the base.

Half a pound of Self Raising flour.
Half a teacupful of breadcrumbs.
Half a teacupful of shredded (or finely chopped) suet.
4oz currants
6oz raisins
Half a grated apple.
Quarter a pint of cold milk.
One rounded tablespoonful of treacle.
One rounded tablespoonful of syrup.
One rounded tablespoonful of jam or jelly.
2 Teaspoonsful of mixed spice.
Half a teaspoonful of ground ginger.
Half a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon,
Half a teaspoonful of salt.

Put the plate into the pot and add a couple of pints of water. Put it on to boil.

Put the cloot into the pot too, so that it gets hot and the water swells the fibres.

Mix all the dry ingredients. Add in the fruits and stir well. Add everything else and stir really thoroughly.

Lift out the cloth and wring it out (carefully, it's hot!)
Flatten it out on a table or worktop and dust well with flour.

Make sure the pan is boiling.

Pour/scrape mixture into the middle of the cloth and quickly gather up the edges. Tie it with the string, leaving a little room for the dumpling to swell. Tie it so that you have a loop to lift the dumpling out of the pot when you're finished.

Place the dumpling onto the plate in the pot. Check that the boiling water comes up to the top of the rounded bit of the dumpling. That's the level you'll need to top up to every so often as it simmers.

It doesn't need to boil hard, but it does need to bubble simmer.

This is a fairly small dumpling and will only take two and a half to three hours to cook.

Remove from the water and place it on a plate or wide shallow bowl. Cut the twine and gently peel back the cloth. It needs gently scraped from the cloth sometimes. Pat any skin you scrape off back on with a flat bladed table knife. When you're nearly to the bottom, put another plate on top and turn the dumpling over. Finish peeling off the cloot. There's the dumpling

It needs the surface dried out now, we used to put it down beside the hearth to do this, but you can put it someplace warm or inside a cool oven for a bit.
The skin protects the dumpling for a few days if made in advance, and gives it a firm outside, almost like a loaf.

The cloth washes out, though it's usually a bit stained, like tea. It's sterile though since it's been boiled and Jamie nicked my newest one for his    They last for years and eventually end up bowl shaped

I like the sound of that! Will give it a go tomorrow afternoon as i have all the bits already,


Cor, that brings back memories of grans house, she almost always had a pot on the fire with something in it. She used to make a savory dumpling with leeks in the mix instead of fruit, think I may have to give it a revival [/u]

If you can mind the recipe for the leek dumpling, I'd love to give it a go
I did wonder in these days of the return of the wood fired stoves whether old fashioned long slow simmer cooking would make a comeback.
I have a genuine Carron cauldron that's several hundred years old. Still sound and whole, but missing it's lids :/ I keep meaning to pester a blacksmith to make me a set for it.
Big stainless steel pot works very well though


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