Clootie Dumpling Pie

By popular demand.

Janet writes:

For those of you who don’t know what it is – clootie dumpling is a spiced pudding with dried fruit that is wrapped in a cloth known as a cloot and simmered in water or ” steamed ” for a good while.

Best served with custard or cream, it is not as rich as a sasanach pudd and no Scot I know is going to waste good whisky by throwing it over the top. Keep your dram in your glass Jimmy.

I like my Boxing Day cloot fried up in butter for breakfast with a fried egg on…trust me you’ll never look back.

The slightly jelly like ‘skin’ that gives it’s character that forms on the outside of the cootie is the result of being boiled in a cloth or cloot, don’t worry if you don’t have calico an old pillow case works just as well. Don’t use a terry like cloth or tea towel unless it has a nice dense weave.

Our Maggie’s steamed Clootie


• 500g plain flour plus extra flour for dusting
• 200g beef suet
• 250g castor sugar
• 250g raisins
• 250g sultanas
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon ( I usually add a bit more )
• 1 tsp ground mixed spice
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 large eggs
• 1 bramley apple, peeled and grated
• 3 tbsp black treacle
• 100ml whole milk
• one grated carrot (optional)


Bring the largest pot you have of water to the boil, You’ll want to leave 2 – 3 inches of water from the top to make sure the dumpling will have room and room to float.
Now in a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, spices, salt, baking powder, dried fruit and beef suet). In another bowl mix the eggs, milk and black treacle together with the grated apple. Then combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture.

Dip your cloot into the boiling pot of water to soak for a few minutes.

Wring it out to remove the excess water. Now spread the cloot over a large work surface and dust it well with plain flour.

The layer of flour does not need to be thick but make it even. The wet cloot and flour combine to form a protective glue-like waterproof surface so make sure the flour reaches far enough to the edges of the cloot, so that the flour will cover the whole dumpling when the cloot is drawn up around it.

Empty the mixture on to the cloot and draw up the material around it.

Tie it with string, wrapping the string twice around nice and tight but leave a bit of spare room at the top as the dumpling will expand a little.

Cut a long length of string so you can tie the excess on to the pot handles to suspend the cloot when it is submerged in the water.

Put the lid on and keep on a low simmer for 4 hours. Then transfer the dumpling to a baking tray.

Dry the dumpling in a 180˚C preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, unless you have a lovely roaring open fire that will do the trick ! When you first remove the cloot you will have a white glutinous skin which covers the surface of the dumpling but don’t worry, after it has been in the oven it will become darker and form a nice crust on the outside.

Happy Christmas!

Pic via Wikipedia

26 thoughts on “Clootielicious

  1. scottser

    3 years from now:
    ‘scottser, why do we have a tin of black treacle in the back of the press?’
    ‘yeah, i was trying to make a steamed clootie there a while back’
    *ducks from a tin of black treacle being hurled across the kitchen*

      1. scottser

        i somehow feel that a tin of black treacle is a commitment to baking i just won’t be able to follow through on.
        does it taste ok on toast?

        1. v AKA Frilly Keane

          Ah don’t be a miserable oul clut Scottie

          after you’ve taken your three tbls out of the tin
          use it to make a glaze for the Christmas Hang

          chop a orange or mandarin, skins n’all
          into the tin with a tea spoon (or 2 tsps if twas me) of ground cloves
          give it a good stir and then let it pickle there until you’re putting your hang in

          then just tip the tin over the hang, spread it about

          then bin the tin
          it’ll be out of your kitchen by Stephens Day

  2. Brother Barnabas

    so those of us preferred to understand ‘steamed clootie’ to be a tootly-pumpkin-pie should just grow up… is that the message ?

    1. Janet, dreams of a steamed clootie

      who knows in an alternate universe you’re understanding is the the more acceptable and indeed desirable one

  3. Shay Bradshaw

    Stuff your cloot. To quote Friel, (you might want to google him) ‘We’re more a mediterranean people, we tend to over look your culture.” And from your post, with good reason too!

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      Impermanence – anonymity – that’s what I’m looking for; a vast restless place
      that doesn’t give a damn about the past.’ (Philadelphia, Here I Come!, 1964.) :)

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      there’s other cooties that you can make with oatmeal and golden syrup if your chest is already hairy enough ;)
      you can use a vegetable seut but it tastes weird , I’d just use butter and swap the butter for golden syrup,
      Scots cooking is many things, particularly healthy it’s not unless you are meant to work it off in the farm ;)

          1. Brother Barnabas


            I might give it a go

            by the end of the week, we’ll all be munching on janet’s clootie

  4. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    my granddad ate a diet that would curl your toes by today’s standards although there was a fair bit of whatever the tractor hit there was lots of dairy and carbs and he was as thin as a whippet and ran into his 70’s

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      pleasure, I have a few french Christmassy recipes if BS wants on the run up to baking fever pitch

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