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Clootie Dumpling (2)

1.25 cups dried apricots
1.5 cups water
2 tbspn brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp grated orange rind
0.25 cup shredded mixed peel
0.5 cup raisins
0.5 cup sultanas
0.5 cup currants
1 small grated apple
1 small grated carrot
0.5 tsp nutmeg
0.5 tsp mixed spice
0.5 cup fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
5 level tbspn wholemeal self-raising flour
5 level tbsp plain wholemeal flour
0.5 cup slivered blanched almonds
2 tbsp brandy
a little white flour for the dumpling cloth
Piece of calico cloth about 60 cm (24 inches square)

Place apricots in a saucepan with water. Bring to boil, cover and cook for about 5 mins. Blend apricots and liquid to a fine puree with brown sugar. Allow to cool.
When cool, whisk in eggs and rind of lemon and orange. Stir in mixed peel, raisins, sultanas, currants, apple and carrots. Then fold in spices, breadcrumbs, both types of flour and almonds. Lastly, add brandy. Allow to stand for 30 mins in a cool place before cooking.

Boil calico for 5 mins to remove impurities then boil again in fresh water.
Remove from boiling water, wring and lay flat. Sprinkle centre of cloth with a little white flour. This gives a skin to the dumpling. Place mixture in centre of cloth. Now tie cloth very firmly with kitchen string into a round shape (gather corners up first), leaving about 2.5 cm (1 inch) between top of dumpling and know to allow for expansion during cooking. Cook dumpling in a large volume of simmering water for about 3.5 hours, adding boiling water as required to keep it covered (important!). Hang dumpling to dry until your special meal.  You can reheat it on Xmas Day in simmering water, if you wish, or in a steamer for 1 hour.

Kindly contributed by Elda Quinton

Dear Alastair:
My husband, Gordon,  is from Scotland and he wanted a Clootie Dumpling for Christmas this year.  We've been married 12 and a half yrs. but I have never attempted making one before but I may make it a Christmas tradition!  I have attached a couple of photos of my attempt at making one from the Clootie Dumpling (2) recipe that is on your website.  I tried to write to the contributor of the recipe but my email bounced back.  Thought you might be interested to hear that it was a success, although both my husband and my Dad complained that they thought a Clootie Dumpling was supposed to be darker in colour (mine was a golden brown as you can see).  I plan to try some of the other recipes on the site as there are many Scottish delicacies that we can't buy in Canada that he misses "from the auld country."  Thanks for a "taste of hame"
Denise Ramsay-Mackenzie (another Alisdair's mother - he's 6!)

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