Scottish Recipes: Cloutie Dumpling
Sometimes spelt "Clootie" it gets its name from the "clout" or cloth in which it was traditionally boiled. This is a favourite at Christmas time and there have been many variations over the years as cooks have experimented. You may be glad to know that it doesn't have to be made in a "clout"!
Recipe Ingredients:4 oz shredded suet or margarine (marge makes a lighter dumpling)
8 oz (2½ cups) flour
4 oz oatmeal
3 oz sugar
Rounded teaspoon baking powder
8 oz mixed currants/sultanas/chopped raisins
One or 1½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and mixed spice
One teaspoon golden syrup (light corn syrup is the closest in N America)
2 eggs, beaten
¾ tablespoons buttermilk
Preparation Method:Sift the flour and rub in the fat (suet or margarine) in a large mixing bowl. Add all the other dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the centre and add the syrup and eggs and mix well. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft but firm batter.
At Christmas, cooks often wrapped small coins (in the old days a silver three-penny piece was popular) in greaseproof paper and placed them in the dumpling. If you do add coins, warn those eating the dumpling later so as to avoid broken teeth!
You now have a choice of container. The traditional way was with a cloth. Dip it first in boiling water and flour it well before adding the mixture. Tie the top, making sure there is enough room for expansion. Place a saucer or plate in the bottom of a saucepan and stand the dumpling in the cloth on top. Cover with boiling water and cook for 2½ to 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can use an 8-cup basin or pudding steamer which has been lightly greased with melted butter. Allow a one inch space at the top (even if this means throwing away some of the mixture - you need the saoce for expansion). Cover the steamer or basin with a greased sheet of foil and pour boiling water into the steamer until it comes two-thirds up the side. Boil for 3 hours.
Turn out the dumpling and either serve hot with custard or cold with cream.
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