How To Make A Gluten Free Clootie Dumpling Any Scottish Granny Would Be Proud Of!
Can anything beat the comforting warmth of granny’s kitchen on a dreich day, with the kettle singing and a faintly steaming clootie dumpling on the table? Nothing compares to air fragranced with cinnamon and citrus peel and the mouth-watering prospect of a slab of clootie, slathered in custard and washed down with a cup of tea! Some of our fondest food memories are the simple, classic dishes we remember from childhood. Homely fare that we return to time and again when we need a dose of comfort. At Clootie McToot our aim is to keep traditional Scottish recipes alive. Our revival of this classic Scottish dumpling recipe grew into a family-run business, with a shop in the charming Perthshire village of Abernethy, where we run hands-on clootie dumpling masterclasses.
Our Traditional Clootie Dumpling recipe is a family favourite, passed down from Michelle’s granny. Like most Scottish families, we think ours the best! Today we’d like to share how you can tweak this traditional Scottish recipe to make a gluten-free clootie dumpling.
Purists might raise an eyebrow, wondering if it’s possible to tinker with a 300-hundred-year- old recipe without sacrificing the rich, moist flavour of this traditional Scottish pudding. However, at Clootie McToot HQ we’re keen to ensure everyone enjoys our delicious dumplings, no matter what your dietary requirements are. We’re passionate about teaching traditional Scottish recipes to the next generation while being mindful of dietary requirements and thought it was time to put a modern spin on granny’s traditional clootie dumpling recipe so that everyone can enjoy one of Scotland’s favourite puddings! Be warned though—this hearty, heavy pudding is a meal in itself, so you might need to skip the main course, and probably take a nap afterwards! For the bold, read on to find out more about the history of the clootie dumpling and the secret behind our deliciously moist Traditional Gluten Free Clootie.
What is a Clootie Dumpling?
A clootie dumpling gets its name from the ‘cloot’ or cloth its boiled in (‘cloot’ is Scots for ‘cloth’). The cloot is usually made from a light material, such as muslin. To be truly traditional, you could make like your Scottish ancestors and use a pillowcase (at Clootie McToot we opt for a freshly boiled ‘cloot’!). Traditionally, a clootie dumpling is made with suet, sprinkled with spice, and studded with plump dried fruit. Where possible we source local ingredients from Scotland’s bountiful larder and use seasonal produce. This means some of our dumplings are only available at specific times of the year, such as our autumnal Apple, Caramel & Oats Clootie.
The dumpling mixture is then placed in the ‘cloot’ which has been sprinkled with flour. The flour helps the dumpling form the classic clootie skin after it’s been boiled. We like to give our clootie a ‘wee skelp’ for good luck before leaving it to boil for a few hours. Balancing sweet and savoury, with its rich spices and heavy texture, it’s no wonder clooties became a staple dish at Christmas and Hogmanay, bringing some welcome warmth and sustenance to long, Scottish winters.
Clootie Dumpling Folklore
There’s a special secret ingredient to a traditional clootie dumpling. It’s an old Scottish tradition to hide silver coins, rings or charms inside the dumpling mixture. Maybe you have fond memories of finding a sixpence piece, or ‘tanner’ wrapped in greaseproof paper in your slice of clootie? Some charms foretold the future of the lucky (or unlucky!) person who found it. A bell, for example, signified marriage but if a man found a button, he was destined to remain a bachelor, and spinsterhood awaited any woman who found a thimble. To avoid any mishaps that might arise from munching on metal trinkets, we no longer stir good luck silver into our dumplings. Instead, we celebrate this quirky piece of Scottish heritage with our Ortak Charms range. Made from the highest quality Sterling silver, each hand-crafted piece is designed to evoke fond memories of a cherished Scottish tradition, from a Lucky Horseshoe to The Bachelorette’s Button.
How To Make a Clootie Dumpling Gluten-Free?
Our clootie dumplings are traditional, vegetarian, and full of fruit. To make our clootie dumpling gluten-free we omitted flour and traditional suet in favour of rice flour and rice suet. Soya milk also makes our clootie dumplings dairy-free. Spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg our dumpling has all the warmth of a cosy fireside in winter, and the orange peel adds that citrusy festive flavour associated with winter, making it a perfect vegan, gluten-free alternative to Christmas pudding. Packed with fruit, our gluten-free clootie is mouth-wateringly moist. There’s nothing worse than a dry clootie dumpling, as Scots will tell you! We’re sure this gluten-free version, packed with juicy fruit and comforting spice, would make any Scottish granny proud. We recommend serving with a dollop of gluten-free custard and a cosy cup of tea.
4 More Ways To Eat Our Gluten Free Clootie Dumpling
As you know, Clootie McToot loves putting a modern twist on traditional Scottish cooking. Here’s 4 fun serving suggestions for our gluten-free clootie:
- Try crumbling pieces of warm, sticky clootie dumpling onto deliciously smoky Laphroaig Ice Cream. The chewy spice of the clootie contrasted with the peaty depth of the Islay malt makes for an unusual and indulgent pairing of two Scottish classics.
- Fry with bacon and tomatoes then serve next to fluffy scrambled eggs for a gluten-free cooked breakfast. If you’re not from Scotland this might seem odd, but we’ve been frying a slice of clootie dumpling with our breakfasts for generations!
- Serve as part of a gluten-free cheeseboard. Brie and most blue cheese are naturally gluten-free, and a herby goats cheese would make another great addition to this alternative cheese board. Try adding succulent Perthshire cherries to your cheeseboard or sweet jam for a taste of summer (cherries and clootie go so well together we combined them in one dumpling).
- Box up with a tartan bow for a traditional take on wedding favours. Our gluten-free clootie dumpling is a great way to appreciate your loved ones on your special day and helps you easily cater for guests who are dairy and gluten-free. We’re sure this original wedding favour idea will spark fond memories of favourite childhood fare and get the guests talking.
At Clootie McToot we’re always looking for ways to keep Scottish tradition alive by adding a modern twist and recognising that everyone has different tastes and dietary requirements. We hope you’ll try our Traditional Gluten Free Clootie Dumpling the next time you need a moist, gluten-free dessert alternative.
Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram or share your creations on Facebook – wherever you are in the world, we love to see folk enjoying homely and traditional Scottish fare.
p.s. If you enjoyed this article, you might like to try our traditional Scottish tablet recipe.