Cloutie Dumpling? A Recipe for Fun

I enjoyed an afternoon of tea yesterday with some friends, one of whom served what she termed to be a traditional Cloutie Dumpling from Scotland. I am all in for traditional foods, especially those so tasty. (Yes, I have tried Haggis.)

Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

Now, I live in the South. When we say “dumpling,” we customarily mean a doughy bread cooked in a broth. Chicken and dumplings is quite popular. 

However, the Cloutie Dumpling is more of the nature of fruit cake. (I am one of those people who love fruit cake every Christmas [Yes, I am weird.], and I found this recipe is very much like my Christmas pudding one.)

As I understand it, Cloutie can also be seen as spelled as “Clootie,” which comes from the cloth in which the pudding is traditionally boiled. Blog: Scottish Clootie Dumpling (Stupid Me! I should have taken a picture with my phone - borrowed this one from the internet.) Blog: Scottish Clootie Dumpling (Stupid Me! I should have taken a picture with my phone – borrowed this one from the internet.)

Here is the recipe my friend shared:
125 g/4 oz. of suet (finely chopped)
1 tsp baking powder
200 g/ 4 oz. of currants and sultanas
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp ginger
250 g/ 8 oz of self-rising flour
75 g/ 3 oz brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup (maple syrup)
1 cup milk
1 tsp nutmeg
125 g/ 4 oz breadcrumbs
1 grated apple

Half fill a pot with water and bring it to a full boil.
Take a large piece of cheesecloth and scald it with boiling water.
Then dust the cloth with flour.
In a large bowl, first beat the eggs. Then mix in the syrup and about 1/4 of the milk. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and fruit – mixing well each time.
Place the mixture on the cheesecloth and secure. Allow enough room for the mixture to swell/rise.
Place an inverted plate on the bottom of the pan and put the pudding on it.
Boil for 3-4 hours.
Be careful not to let the water to drop below half the depth of the pudding.
Dip in cold water, remove the cloth and dry the pudding off in a medium oven.
Sprinkle with sugar and serve with cream or custard.

Here is a tip from Spark Recipes: *Clootie Dumpling traditionally used suet, which is raw beef or mutton fat, usually from around the loins and kidneys. Atora Suet is prepackaged and available in most supermarkets.
There is also a vegetarian version of Atora, called Atora Lite, which is obviously lowering fat. You can also ask for fresh suet from a butcher and then grate it yourself. Suggested substitutes are shortening, or very cold butter or margarine, as would be used for pastry making. However, the finished product will not hold together as well. 

About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
This entry was posted in British history, Scotland, tradtions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cloutie Dumpling? A Recipe for Fun

  1. Gerri Bowen says:

    I love fruit cake too, Regina. Every December I need my fix.

  2. My mother used to make something very similar when I was growing up in England however being English we naturally called it something different and not nearly as interesting as Cloutie Dumpling, it was just a steamed suet pudding, she also made another pudding with the same basic ingredient which was known as a spotted dog, it was much lighter in colour I suppose it didn’t have the cinnamon and brown sugar, looked a bit like a Dalmatian dog.

    A fruit cake is/was my specialty and I always used to make mine around the end of September beginning of October, some years I made 3 or 4 extra which used to take me many hours and I’d give them to friends. They are very rich and my wife is not overly fond of very rich fruit cake much preferring her mothers weakened boiled fruit cake recipe which to my mind more resembles a pudding than a cake so I stopped making mine about 4 years ago much to the regret of the male members of the family who prefer the richness of a proper fruit cake. My recipe and cake with Royal Icing can also be used for the traditional English wedding cake, I had some photos of my cakes somewhere which I’m sure would make you drool for a slice or two, says he immodestly 😛

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