Thursday, 23 September 2010

Traditional Fare - something to do while its raining!

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to make a traditional dish - so please pay attention.
Ingredients you will need:  3lb self-raising flour; 1 1/2 cups (use a small mug) brown sugar; 1 1/2 cups currants; pinch of salt; 3 tablespoons margarine; 1 1/2 tablespoons black treacle; 2 teaspoonsful ground cinammon; 1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda; 2 eggs (free range) beaten; milk to mix. 
A square cloth of a firm weave - I use a pillow case that was originally unbleached cotton (gosh, remember those?) opened out flat; a bit of string to tie it up; a large stock pot of boiling water and three hours spare....

Here are the ingredients before we start.  Put everything into a large bowl (or very clean plastic bucket) and rub in the margarine.  Add milk to make a stiff dough - you know you've got it right when it alll sticks together - but beware of overdoing the milk, it should stick to itself, not to you! 

If it looks like the picture above then you've got it about right.

Take your cloth and put it into a bowl.  Cover with boiling water from the electric kettle and then wring it out - be very careful because after all, the water is boiling and scalds are not part of the recipe.
Lay the wet hot cloth out flat and put a handful of flour on it.  Smooth it out and then put the mixture onto the cloth.  Make sure the flour covers the mixture.
Gather the cloth up firmly around the mixture and tie very tightly with a piece of cord.  This is very important since you don't want water swilling in and out of the cloth whilst its cooking.
Lower it carefully into the pot of boiling water and simmer for three hours - turning it over half way through.
Don't forget to open the window while its cooking unless you want to take the wallpaper off the walls!
After three hours, carefully remove it from the water - again taking full cognizance of the fact that it will be very, very, very hot.  Remove the cloth and place it on a plate.  Allow to cool.
Slice and eat - on its own, with butter or jam, or fried with bacon.  If you don't like the rind then give it to the dog.
This dish is known as a Duff, a Dumpling or a Pudding depending on where you are.  It's very filling and lasts for some days before it goes dry. 
This recipe is by courtesy of Mrs Ferguson and I am sharing it with the world as its definitely too good to keep private.

Tomorrow I'm off to Grimsay on Uist for the Michaelmas Open Day event on Saturday.  I shall be taking my camera so hope to have some photos for a future post.


Anonymous said...

oh yummmmmm! Is that JF's hand making sure the string is tight..

Min said...

This sounds like a version of what I know as 'Clootie dumpling'. It's a very long while since I had any. Thanks for passing on the recipe.