Monday, October 30, 2006

Traditional Clootie Dumpling Recipe

You will need:
2 cups of currants
2 cups raisins
2 cups sugar
2 cups of suet (beef or vegetarian)
8 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons mixed spicemilk to bind

Mix dry ingredients together (including the suet).
Add milk until it achieves a sticky consistency, it should be fairly firm and heavy, but not solid.
Now some people have been known to use all manner of cloths to wrap the dumpling, but I find a pillow case sufficent.
Flour the inside of your clean pillow-case, just throw a handful in, and coat the insides. Empty the case of excess flour.
Put in your dough, tie up the case LOOSELY, leave room for swelling, otherwise your poor pudding will simply rend the case!
Place into a very large pot of clean boiling water. Now, before doing this, I should maybe tell you that a heatproof dish of some kind should be in the pot, so that the pudding does not come into direct contact with the hot pan bottom. Also ensure that you have the tied up end at the top, so you can lift out the pudding safely (for example by using a wooden spoon handle)
Don't boil! Simmer the pudding for two and a half hours on a low heat.
In the days when every home had a coal fire, it would be common to dry out the pudding in front of it, just to give it a skin. But you can do this in a low heat oven, around Gas 3.
Like many traditional recipes, practice makes perfect.

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