250g (8oz) plain flour (or self raising without the baking powder)
125g (4oz) oatmeal OR breadcrumbs
250g (8oz) mixed sultanas and currants
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
75g (2-3oz) soft brown sugar (or mollasses for stronger taste)
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg
1 teaspoon of baking powder
4 tablespoons of milk (but only use enough to soften the mix)
3 tablespoons of flour for the cloth
If you use the traditional Cloth (cloot) method, cut up and use an old white pillow case or buy a cheap one from a store. You can wash and reuse the cloth for other puddings or use it as a strainer for jellies and jams.
How to make it
1. Rub the suet into the flour and add oatmeal, baking powder, sugar, sultanas and currants and the ginger and cinnamon. Blend together and add the eggs and syrup. Stir well and add just enough milk to firm (not too goey or sloppy).
2. If you are using a cloth (cloot), put it into boiling water first then spread onto your table and sprinkle a liberal amount of flour over the inside. Put the mixture into the middle and tie up, leaving a wee bit of space for the mixture to expand.
3. Place an upside-down saucer at the bottom of a deep pan and put the tied cloot in and cover with boiling water and hard simmer for about 3 to 4 hours, this is not too scientific this part. I usually go for 3.5 hrs.
4. If you'd rather use a heatproof bowl it will need to be greased before adding the mixture. Leave an inch space at the top for the pudding to expand. Cover with greaseproof paper and tie
5. Remove from pan and dip into bowl of cold water to halt the cooking process. You can dry and heat in the over (medium hot) if you plan to eat it straight away. Alternatively, store in the fridge until its needed and then microwave it to reheat. It cuts easily into slices and thats how we serve it.
This dumpling improves with time, I make mine in Nov in time for Xmas day, hence putting the recipe onto the site today. It will last up to 3 months
Traditionally silver pennies would be added to the Cootie Dumpling mixture. The Best Traditional and Contemporary Scottish Recipes suggests wrapping 5p pieces or charms in waxed or greaseproof paper and adding these to the Clootie Dumpling mixture.
I remember when I was a wee lad and visited my granny at "Ald Eers Day" Hogmany which was celebrated by exchanging presents on this day and not Xmas day. We used to look forward to finding the pennies, thrupences and sixpences in the pudding.
Some trivia about the Clootie.....
Clootie Dumplings are traditional rich fruit puddings which are cooked in a cloth called a cloot. It was traditionally made for special occasions like a birthday, Hogmanay or at Christmas time when trinkets, coins and lucky gifts were dropped into the mixture, wrapped in greaseproof paper. However it is now readily available and enjoyed throughout Scotland and some parts of the world by ex pats at any time of the year. It is particularly enjoyable in the winter months when it can warm many a cold belly! It is especially filling on New Year Day to soak up excess alcohol!
Clootie Dumpling is best served hot with cream, ice-cream or custard and left overs can be fried the next day and served with bacon and beans. It can also be eaten cold, spread with butter or margarine and jam, much like a tea cake.
In February 2009 The Sunday Post newspaper featured Frances Johnstone from Ballater whose clootie dumplings are favoured by Prince Charles when he stays at Balmoral in Royal Deeside. Prince Charles was introduced to the delights of clootie dumpling by his grandmother. When Prince Charles married Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Rothesay, in 2005 Frances Johnstone gifted the Royal couple a clootie dumpling via the kitchens at Birkhall and she has been making them for the couple since, though it is rumoured that Prince Charles does not always share his pudding!
Aberdeen lass won an opportunity to meet the singer and actor Justin Timberlake in 2002 thanks to her Gran's Scottish Clootie Dumpling recipe. On the Tonight with Johnny Vaughan show Justin Timberlake judged a food competition and he loved the Scottish Clootie Dumpling cooked by the Gran of Leigh Mathieson. She is such a fan of Justin Timberlake that she went on to win another two TV competitions to meet her favourite celebrity. He still remembered enjoying her grandmothers Clootie Dumpling.
In Munlochy in the Black Isles and at Culloden Moor in the Highlands of Scotland there are Clootie Wells where people hang or tie rags that have washed a diseased, ill or disabled part of a body. Superstition has it that when the rags or cloths dry the body part will heal. Other customs say that you should hang a rag at the Cottie Well on May Day to ward off evil spirits. Some people believe that if you look into the water of Clootie Well you will either see your own reflection, your face as it will appear on your death or the face of your life love. Are you brave enough to try…