What is a Clootie Dumpling?

What is a Clootie Dumpling?

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Welcome to our very own family-run traditional clootie dumpling business. Here at Clootie Mctoot, we are driven by the desire to keep authentic Scottish recipes alive and kicking. 

What started as a revival of my grannies’ clootie dumpling recipe has blossomed into a brick and mortar shop, an online store, masterclass workshops, and create your own kits that travel all over the world. We are proud to be fun, affordable, and a driving force behind teaching the younger generations about Scottish staples. 

At Clootie Mctoot, everything we do is done with the utmost respect for old traditions and harks back to a simpler, more family-oriented way of life. 

What is a Clootie Dumpling? 

Here in Abernethy,  clootie dumpling history matters. Clootie Dumplings gained their name from the method of cooking where they are boiled in a ‘cloot’, which is a Scottish word for cloth.

A pudding steeped in Scottish history, the humble clootie dumpling dates back to 18th Century Scotland where it’s focal ingredients such as dried fruits, oats and suet could be found cheaply and in abundance. The name “clootie” or “cloot” comes from the old Scots word for “cloth”, which refers to the thin, muslin material that the dumpling is cooked in. Did you know, originally they would have used a pillowcase as their “cloot” as they were more readily available throughout the household! 

The ingredients and method involved in creating a “clootie dumpling” has stayed true to its origins and is often passed down through generations – our recipe comes from my Grannie! We mix the ingredients together whether they be traditional or seasonal, and then place them in a freshly boiled “cloot” that has been sprinkled with flour. The addition of flour gives the pudding a delicious skin around the outside of the pudding once it has been boiled.

Our Clootie dumplings are traditional, vegetarian, and full of fruit. They are at once sweet and at other times savoury. By balancing between both sensations, clooties earn their place as a staple dish in homes all over Scotland.

The History and Folklore of the Clootie Dumpling

Due to the long standing history of the clootie dumpling, it is hard to pin-point its first creation. In the book “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse published in 1747 there is a recipe included for a “Boiled Plum Pudding” that is not dissimilar to a traditional clootie dumpling! The recipe we use now stays true to the method and ingredients used over 300 years ago. 

A variety of charms were often added to the clootie dumpling as it was cooked, each representative of the future held for the individual that found it. Those who found a horseshoe would receive protection from evil and would inherit good fortune. A wishbone would signify the finder receiving their hearts desire and a wish that would come true. A bell would signify marriage, whereas the man who found a button and the woman who found a thimble were destined to remain single. The trinkets included inside a clootie dumpling varied and some included coins such as sixpence or thruppenny and some rings. 

Although we no longer include charms and trinkets inside our clootie dumplings, we honour the tradition with our Ortak Charms range which feature the highest quality Sterling silver, hand-crafted into all of the most memorable pieces.

How to Enjoy Clootie Dumplings

Families all over Scotland keep a spare clootie dumpling in the fridge because they are so versatile. 

It is a common misconception that clooties are just sweet. Each clootie dumpling toes the line between sweet and savoury, which means that they can fit into a wide range of different dishes. 

There are lots of different ways to enjoy clootie dumplings. 

  • Clooties contain a lot of fruit, which makes them the perfect substitute for families who do not like traditional Christmas puddings
  • People who have a hearty Scottish breakfast once a week love a side of clooties
  • Our family serve clooties as part of a cheeseboard alongside oatcakes and cheddar
  • Clooties never disappoint when paired with custard, cream, or ice cream

Clootie dumplings are a good choice for families that need to cater to lots of different preferences. One clootie can go into lots of dishes, which means that making four different meals is a thing of the past. Our customers can microwave clootie dumplings and eat them with a hot meal, or serve them cold next to crackers and cheese.

In our online shop, you will find traditional clootie dumpling recipes alongside gluten-free dumplings and even recipes with no added sugar. We combine old cooking methods with modern ingredients to make sure that everyone can experience this traditional taste. 

When you choose our clootie dumplings, you can expect clean plates and full bellies. 

Explore Our Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling Range

Our range of clootie dumplings deliver an authentic experience like no other. Made using traditional ingredients, recipes, and methods, these clooties might as well be transported straight from 1747. We are proud to keep our Scottish heritage alive with a family-favourite that stands the test of time. 

Our online shop is bursting with Scottish charm! You will find our best-selling traditional clootie dumpling alongside festive and seasonal specials. We have even tweaked the original recipe so that vegans and those with gluten intolerances can enjoy the taste of traditional clootie dumplings.

Here are some of the delicious flavour sensations you will find in our online shop.

  • Apple, Pear, and Cinnamon
  • Chocolate Orange and Baileys (Seasonal)
  • Apple, Caramel, and Oats (Seasonal)
  • Lemon and Pimms (Seasonal)
  • Cherry, Date, and Lindores Aqua Vitae
  • Strawberry and Prosecco (Seasonal)
  • Whisky
  • Banana and Toffee (Seasonal)
  • Traditional – Vegan and Gluten Free

Each flavour comes with a traditional cloot which can be reused time after time. Simply wash your cloot in warm soapy water, then rinse away the suds. Place the cloot in your dishwasher and hit start on a full cycle. Once the cycle is finished you will never have to buy a clootie dumpling cloth again. 

After an online order clootie dumpling has been made using traditional techniques, it is vacuum packed to preserve freshness.  To keep your clootie for as long as possible:

  • Store it in a cool, dark, dry place if there is no space in the fridge
  • Keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days after opening
  • Freeze your dumpling in individual slices wrapped in film or the vacuum bag or a plastic tub. Our Clootie Dumplings can be frozen for up to six months.