Cloutie Dumpling

This traditional Scottish pudding gets its name from the cloth (or clout) in which it is boiled.

6oz/150g self-raising flour

pinch of salt

½oz/15g mixed spice

6oz/150g white breadcrumbs

6oz/150g grated suet

4oz/100g currants

4oz/100g sultanas

2oz/50g soft brown sugar

2 tbsps treacle

2 large eggs, beaten

milk to mix

Sift the flour, salt and spice together and then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Warm the treacle and mix with the eggs before beating into the dry ingredients.  Mix well adding a little milk to make a soft dough.

Prepare a pudding cloth (a 2 foot/60 cm square piece of unbleached calico or a tea-towel).  If it is new, soak it in water overnight and the following day boil it for 20 minutes, then rinse.

On the day of making the pudding have a large pan of rapidly boiling water ready, as well as some flour and a long length of string (about 2.5 metres).

Wearing rubber gloves, dip the prepared pudding cloth into the boiling water and boil for 1 minute.  Remove the cloth from the water and squeeze the excess water out.  Working quickly, spread the hot cloth on a bench and rub flour into the centre of the cloth to cover an area about 40cm in diameter.  Leave the flour a little thicker in the centre of the cloth where the “skin” on the pudding will be thickest.

Place the pudding mixture in the centre of the cloth and gather the cloth evenly around the pudding avoiding any deep pleats.  Pat into a round shape by hand.  Tie the cloth tightly with string, leaving a little room for the pudding to swell.  Leave the ends long or tie to form a handle to aid lifting later.  Place an upturned plate on the bottom of a large pan of boiling water and put the pudding on top.  Simmer for 2½ hours.

Turn the dumpling out onto a dish and place it in a warm oven for the skin to dry before serving.

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