Friday, 25 January 2013
Today is Robert Burn's birthday, also known as Burn's Night. It is traditional in Scotland on this night to have a supper to celebrate his work and life. I therefore decided to make a traditional Scottish pudding to eat - the clootie dumpling. I remembered James on GBBO made a version of the clootie dumpling, and so I did some research into the traditional recipe and method. It turns out you have to steam it for 3-4 hours. I knew I did not have the time or the patience for that! So I found a recipe where you can steam it in a microwave for only a few minutes.
I gathered together the 'special equipment' needed - a microwave roasting bag, a piece of muslin cloth or cotton approx 15" square, and some string for this recipe.
I weighed out 170g self raising flour, and sifted it into a mixing bowl along with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.
I then added 57g soft brown sugar, 85g shredded suet, 170g dried mixed fruit, 1 1/2 tbsp treacle, half an apple grated and peeled, one egg beaten, and a splash of milk.
I mixed it all together and it didn't take very long at all to form a dough.
I soaked my piece of muslin cloth in boiling water, then laid it out and put a liberal sprinkle of flour of it.
I made the clootie dough into a ball and wrapped it in the muslin cloth. I then placed it inside a microwave roasting bag along with 120ml of cold water and tied it loosely.
I microwaved it on high for 7 minutes and 30 seconds. The flour covering the muslin was meant to form a 'skin' over the dumpling, as you can see from the above photo, I only got half a skin! However the skin looked a bit ugly, so I was sort of glad!
I then put it in an oven dish and put it in the oven for 10 minutes on the lowest heat, which for my oven was 50C. This is to dry it out. I put it on a plate (ugly skin side down!) and added my homemade Scottish flag!
When I cut into the dumpling it looked really dry, however it tasted quite nice! Plus my Scottish housemate liked it - surely the ultimate seal of approval?!
I enjoyed a wedge of my clootie dumpling with ice cream, and it was chewy in texture. Steaming gives bagels a chewiness, so the steaming process of this obviously does the same to the clootie. The taste was really good, very similar to a fruit loaf. Give this a try for a true Scottish feel to Burns Night!