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As Christmas is fast approaching and folks might be thinking about making a Christmas Pudding, I thought I'd pop this recipe to 'the top', as it is a great substitute for a Christmas Pudding.
I hope some of you will try it as it is truly scrumptious.
CLOOTIE DUMPLING A Truly Scottish Pudding
For all the non Scots amongst us -
The definition of a Clootie Dumpling - according to Collins Gem Scots Dictionary - is:
CLOOTIE DUMPLING (rhymes with booty) a clootie dumpling is a rich dark fruitcake served as a dessert, like a Christmas pudding. It is boiled or steamed in a cloot (or cloth). Until the recent past, clootie dumplings were made as a birthday treat for children and, like Christmas Puddings, were often made containing sixpences.
The dictionary definition doesn't explain that a clootie dumpling has a major difference from a Christmas pudding in that it has a 'skin' around the outside when steamed and dried properly.
The clootie dumplings I remember, which my grandmother baked, only ever had one sixpence in them and it always mysteriously managed to be in the pudding bowl of whichever grandchild was having the birthday at the time.
When I started making clootie dumplings I used my grandmother's recipe, which was very much of the style - a handful of this and a handful of that - and it used to steam away in a jelly pan in the kitchen for hours on end.
I then moved on to a recipe that would steam in my pressure cooker for about two hours.
However, I now steam my clootie dumpling in the microwave and the steaming time is down to approximately 7 - 8 minutes.
Isn't progress wonderful!!!!!
The quick and easy recipe I intend to share with you all is the -
MICROWAVE CLOOTIE DUMPLING
The timing is based on a 750 W microwave - check individual microwave instruction manual for possible adjustments.
6ozs self raising flour 2ozs soft brown sugar 3 ozs shredded suet 6ozs dried mixed fruit half an apple, peeled and grated half teasp cinnamon half teasp ground ginger half teasp mixed spice quarter teasp bicarbonate soda one and a half tablsps treacle quarter teasp cream of tartar one egg, beaten, with a little milk added Extra self raising flour (for dredging over muslin cloth) 4 fl ozs cold water (for steaming the dumpling)
Muslin or cotton cloth approx 15 inches square Microwave roasting bag (available from most supermarkets) A clean shoelace or length of string
Sift flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, suet, fruit, treacle, egg and milk. Mix together until mixture resembles a moist scone mix. Add more milk if mixture is not moist enough.
Soak muslin in boiling water, spread out flat on work surface and dredge liberally with flour.(This will form the skin around the clootie dumpling).
Using your hands mould dumpling mixture into a rough ball shape and place in the centre of the muslin cloth, gather up muslin around the dumpling and tie loosely with the lace.
Pour 4 fl ozs cold water into microwave roasting bag and add the clootie dumpling. Tie seal the roasting bag loosely. Put roasting bag and contents onto a microwave proof plate and cook on full power for 7 - 8 minutes.
Remove dumpling from roasting bag and muslin. Place on an ovenproof dish and put into conventional oven, on the lowest shelf and at the lowest setting for about 10 minutes. This is to dry out the flour, which will now be coating the dumpling, and this will form the 'skin'.
Serve warm with cream or custard. Slice cold and eat as cake.
NB Do not put coins in mixture while steaming in microwave. If you want coins in your clootie dumpling, wrap them in greaseproof paper and pop them in pudding bowls prior to adding the dumpling.
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