Every year, we have a family tradition of serving clootie dumpling as part of the Christmas day meal. This year will be no different, but dumpling making has already begun, because I need to cook at least three of them. Our recipe has been handed down 5 generations of the family. The first dumpling was made yesterday, by traditional methods. You can find the recipe for our traditional Scottish clootie dumpling on the Frugaldom blog.
Yesterday's dumpling was made for another family member, so I still need to make on for this household but these take at least 3 hours each to make, as I have only one large pan and no standard cooker, just the mini cooker with hot plates or the log-burning stove. But what happens when you make a dumpling? That dumplingy aroma wafts throughout the house and ignites the taste buds into a stat of wanton disregard for dieting, meal planning or even patience! So a quick search for speedy dumpling found this microwave clootie dumpling recipe.
I melted the sugar, margarine, spices and milk then simmered the sultanas in the mix for a few minutes but was in far too much of a rush to allow it to cool, so it got mixed with the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and beaten egg. I used only half the amount quoted, as there are only two of us here until Tuesday and, unlike traditional clootie dumpling, I don't think this variety will freeze. The above is what it looked like when I poured it into a microwave-safe bowl, which had been lined with plastic food film. (Not too sure I like the plastic film, I will try without this next time.)
I cooked mine in the microwave on high for four and a half minutes and this was enough to bake it through. It turned out of the bowl without any problem and smelled like spicy dumpling.
Unlike traditional clootie dumpling, which gets boiled in a cloth for over three hours and then grilled or toasted to dry the sweet, leather-like skin, this variety contains eggs and has no skin, so the texture is more of a spongy soft fruit pudding, not the easiest thing to slice when serving. But it does smell really good and we do like our puddings in the household.
In true frugal living fashion, a hot pudding usually gets served with custard, so here is the finished dish. Overall, this version of clootie dumpling cost me approximately 40p to make (double up if making fullsize) and by the time you add on some custard you are looking at around 60p for something that easily provides for 6.
Tonight we cheated - instant packet custard made with boiling water and 'dumpling' made in under half an hour via the microwave... cheap and cheerful, frugal and festive, hot and tasty!
Let me know if you try this really frugal microwave clootie dumpling recipe. For my personal preference, I would use less spice next time but there will certainly be a next time. I wouldn't call it dumpling, as such, it being more of a spiced fruit pudding, but it certainly makes an excellent substitute for occasions when you simply don't have a spare 3 or 4 hours to hang around the kitchen.