Shieldhill’s Ruth is world clootie dumpling champion

Ruth Brown from Shieldhill, who is 87, became the world champion clootie dumpling maker on Sunday. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ruth Brown from Shieldhill, who is 87, became the world champion clootie dumpling maker on Sunday. Picture: Michael Gillen
  • First-time entrant secures success in competition
  • Mother-in-law’s recipe is secret to ‘bake-off’ success
  • Dumplings scored on taste, shape and texture

Shieldhill can now boast having one of the oldest world champions after an 87-year-old’s cooking won her a prestigious title.

While the Oscars were getting under way in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, Ruth Brown was being crowned the World Clootie Dumpling champion at Avonbridge Parish Church.

It shows just how good David’s mum’s recipe is

Ruth Brown

Originally from Yorkshire, Ruth started cooking the Scottish delicacy after she moved to Shieldhill with husband David in 1959, using her mother-in-law’s recipe.,

Sunday was the first time she had entered the popular annual Braes ‘bake-off’.

Ruth said: “Cooking is in my blood. My mother used to cook for big houses in Yorkshire so I learned from her. The clootie dumpling recipe is David’s mum’s and I have used her pot to boil them all these years up until this year when it got a hole in it.

“It was my friend who wanted me to enter with her so I’m really surprised I won because it was my first time entering. It shows just how good David’s mum’s recipe is.”

Logan Brown from Throsk was second while clootie dumpling royalty Mary Inglis from Avonbridge, who won the very first competition back in 2003, was third.

Jean Wilson, one of the organisers, said: “It was another fabulous night. There were 16 entries which was quite good and all the dumplings were terrific.

“As usual we had Rab Hynter on the spoons, Jock Moffat on the accordion and young Callum Stephens on the trumpet entertaining us.

“It’s a really good Scottish night and everyone has a great time. This year we had about 60 people in the hall and we’d like to thank everyone for helping to make it another brilliant year, and that includes judge Isobel Taylor and Reverend Ken MacKay for making the presentations. We’re looking forward to the next one already.”

Clootie dumpling entries for the world championship are scored on taste, shape, colour and texture. The traditional Scottish pudding is called a ‘clootie dumpling’ because it’s made in a cloth which used to be known as a cloot in this part of the world.

Ingredients include flour, dried currants, sultanas, shredded suet, treacle, dried breadcrumbs, caster sugar, butter, egg, milk, mixed spice, baking powder, salt and syrup.