What a Clootie Pie!
What a Clootie Pie!

Scotsmen love their clootie dumplings. It is a traditional pudding, one that is a must-have during Christmas and Hogmanay with a gracious serving of custard. These dumplings are actually a spiced pudding, stuffed with dried fruits, wrapped in a cloth, and simmered in water for a long time. Clootie dumplings are an experimental version of plum cakes, however, they aren’t quite as rich. Traditionally, these dumplings do not involve whisky as an ingredient. But can you really imagine Scottish holidays without whisky?

Clooties, or cloth pieces have been used as a cooking instrument for the longest time. It has died out in most parts of the world, but the Scots like lingering onto traditions. Boiling in a clootie gives a skin like character to the outer side of a dumpling. Often people would leave the dumpling out to dry so as to let it form a crust on the outside. However, the oven does that job today on its own. For a true Scottish touch invoking strains of the legendary bagpipes, use 100 Pipers for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 225gms of plain flour
  • 25gms of plain flour for sprinkling
  • A tsp. of baking soda
  • A tsp. of mixed spice
  • A tsp. of cinnamon powder
  • A tsp. of grounded ginger
  • 1/4th tsp. of sea salt
  • 175gms of caster sugar
  • A tbsp. of caster sugar for sprinkling
  • 100gms of shredded suet
  • 100gms of sultanas
  • 75gms of currants
  • 75gms of chopped dates
  • 50gms of raisins
  • A grated apple or carrot
  • A tbsp. of molasses
  • An egg
  • 150mls of buttermilk
  • 225gms of clotted cream
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The Process

  • Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. Stir until well incorporated. Add the suet, sugar, dried fruits and the carrot or apple.
  • Mix molasses with egg and buttermilk. Add them to the bowl of mixed dried ingredients.
  • Take a moderately large piece of cloth, preferably muslin, and dip it in boiling water. Remove the cloth from water and squeeze out the excess water. Lay it on your kitchen top.
  • Make a 30 cm circle in the centre of the cloth with sprinkled flour and caster sugar.
  • Spoon the pudding mixture on top of the circle. Wrap it around with the cloth and secure it with a string, leaving enough room for the pudding to rise and expand.
  • Place a trivet on the base of the pan and the pudding, knotted side up, on the trivet.
  • Let it simmer for 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Lift out the pudding from the pan and dip it in a container of cold water.
  • Remove the cloth from the pudding and put it in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Take it out once the skin peels off from the pudding.
  • Serve it with whipped cream and a glass of whisky, preferably 100 pipers.

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