The Popular Scottish Dumpling Dessert That's Boiled In A Cloth

Clootie dumpling is a sweet dessert recipe known and beloved by Scots. As Scottish tradition dictates, grandmothers and mums alike have been known to hide greaseproof paper-wrapped coins inside the dumplings for children to find and would serve the dumplings with bacon and eggs for memorable mornings.

The word "cloot" is Scots for cloth, a reference to the fabric in which these treats are made, and while the clootie mixture is sweetened with sugar and golden syrup, American versions can include corn syrup. Once the mass of ingredients — suet, flour, oatmeal, dried fruits, baking powder, eggs, milk, sweeteners, and an assortment of spices — are mixed together, the firm mound is placed into the center of a cloth that has been softened by boiling water and covered in powdered flour. Clean linen and woven cotton materials are commonly used as the wrapping, and while cotton dish towels can also do the trick, be sure not to use any new materials that could inadvertently dye your dumpling and result in a more colorful appearance than you might have originally intended.

A treat for any age

After tying the clootie mixture in the center of your cloth — not too tightly, however, as the dumpling will expand as it cooks — place the bound dumpling into a pot of boiling water. Simmer for several hours, and once the dumpling has been cooked, remove it, unwrap your nearly-finished treat, and sprinkled the steaming sphere with caster sugar. As the final step in the cooking process, place the sugar-coated dumpling into a pre-warmed oven and bake for an additional half hour. Your efforts will be worth it once baked clootie dumplings are plated and served with ice cream or warm British custard. 

For a simpler presentation, enjoy the warm dumplings with a simple pat of butter (or a dash of cream) and homemade jam. Should you happen to find yourself with any leftover dumplings, place them in an airtight container and serve them fried for breakfast the next day. Bring this recipe into your home, and you may be creating lasting memories of your own.