Thursday, 2 February 2012

Off-grid Baking: Clootie Dumpling

So, last week, for Burns Night, we spent the evening with some friends, and I decided that since the haggis was being provided, I should bring something homemade to share. I had heard about clootie dumplings, a type of steamed Scottish pudding (clootie means cloth). The dumpling is wrapped in cloth, tied with a string and submerged in boiling water) I thought that it would be fun to try and make one, and leave it to simmer on the solid fuel stove. 
I adapted a recipe from here, and it was surprisingly quite simple to make. The biggest challenge was finding something to fit in the bottom of my biggest saucepan for the dumpling to sit on while it simmered and leave space for the lid to still fit on! I left it on the Squirrel stove for most of three hours then finished it off with another hour on the gas hob. I don't think the water got quite hot enough on the Squirrel to cook it through. Served with clotted cream and a glass of whisky it was rather good, I thought.

Image from Good Food


225g (8oz) plain flour, plus 25g (1oz) for sprinkling
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
175g/6oz caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
100g/4oz shredded suet
350g/10oz dried fruit
1 apple coarsely grated (actually I used a pear)
1 tbsp golden syrup or treacle
1 medium farm-fresh egg
150ml/5fl oz milk


  1. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar, suet, dried fruit, and the grated  apple.
  2. Mix the syrup with the egg and some of the buttermilk and mix into the dry ingredients to give soft mixture with a cake-like dropping consistency.
  3. Dip a large piece of muslin, an old pillowcase, a pudding cloth or a tea towel into boiling water, remove it and squeeze out the excess water. Lay it out on a surface and sprinkle a 30cm/12in circle in the centre with the 25g/1oz of flour and the 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Spoon pudding mixture on top and tie securely with string, leaving a little room for the pudding to expand.
  4. Rest a large heatproof trivet or container in the base of a large pan so that the pudding is not in direct contact with the heat. Place the pudding on the trivet/container, knotted side up. Pour in enough water almost to cover the pudding, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently for 3-4 hours. Take a peek every now and then and then to check the water level and top it up if necessary.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lift the pudding out of the pan and dip it briefly in a bowl of cold water (to ensure that the outside of the pudding does not stick to an ovenproof serving plate). Then remove remove the cloth and place the pudding on an ovenproof dish/plate. Slide it into the oven and leave it for 15 minutes until the outside of the pudding has dried off.

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1 comment:

  1. A Scottish pudding?


    Shome mishtake shurely?

    As any fule kno, all Scots cuisine is deep-fried.

    It's the law up there you know!