IMPORTANT: READ WHOLE RECIPE AND NOTES BEFORE BEGINNING OTHERWISE YOU’LL END UP WITH AN ALMIGHTY MESS!
A clootie dumpling really is 100% Scottish! You will never come across anything like it in any other part of the world. It is a real bugger to make but worth it! I kinda think that you “might” need to be Scottish to make this one – it’s in the genes!
Wot u need
750g SR flour
375g granulated sugar
250g Atora suet (light vegetarian)
30g mixed spice (one full wee jar)
1.5kg mixed fruit (ONLY sultanas and raisins)
Milk to bind
Wot u do
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and add milk to make a thick scone like dough (shouldn’t be runny.) A good tip is to add the dry goods a little at a time and mix as you go – use your hands but be gentle then use the spoon as you add the milk. Take a large pot and place a plate in the bottom. Add some boiling water and bring to a rolling boil. Wet a cloot (a clean white pillow case cut down one side and along bottom) with hot water from a kettle, wring out and place on table. Sprinkle cloot with a good dusting of plain flour (helps create a skin), make sure all the flour is wet, and pile up dumpling mixture in centre. Pull four corners up, twist and tie very tightly around mixture – the dumpling, when placed on a counter should not be on a seam – important four corners pulled to top otherwise a big line will appear in finished dumpling. Place dumpling into pot and sit on plate. Add more boiling water if reqd so that dumpling is covered up around the neck of its height (5/6.) Cover pot and keep at a rolling but not aggressive boil. Check overy 30 minutes and add hot water from kettle if required. (don’t put over but add down side of dumpling,) Boil covered for 4 hrs.
Place clean plate on work surface lift dumpling out and carefully open. Place second plate over dumpling and invert and remove cloot. Place in 130 degree oven for 20 mins for skin to form.
Cover and leave to sit for five to six hours before cutting.
When mixing the dumpling use a metal spoon (I’ve broken a wooden one) – and go deep underneath the mix by moving spoon around the side of the bowl and almost lifting the mix – this will ensure everything is combined. Add an ingredient at a time and mix. Pot needs to be big enough to see all round dumpling – if pot is too tight water will dry out beneath dumpling and dumpling will burn.
Ensure cloot is well laid out – try to avoid seams and creases – makes for a nicer looking dumpling.
Before placing dumpling in pot give its bottom a wee smack for good luck!
Serves hundreds of folk – great as a cake on day one and two, as a pudding with custard on day three and fried or toasted with a full Scottish breakfast on days four and five!