Put the lid on the pan, and leave it to boil for 3 to 3 and a half hours, always ensuring that the water level is sufficient to surround the whole dumpling.
Use tongs to lift your dumpling from the boiling water. Cut the string and turn it out onto a large plate – at this stage it will look very pale – or as they say in Scotland ‘peely wally’ (pic 5). Sprinkle with sugar and place into a hot oven for approximately 15 minutes, checking it doesn’t burn. In the past, it would be sat by the fireside to brown, but central heating radiators don’t lend themselves to this practice.
During its time in the oven, your dumpling should develop a lovely, brown, leathery-looking skin. At this point, it is ready for eating hot, when it can be served with cream, custard or even just milk (pic 6).
>You can decorate it with a dusting of icing sugar and small sprig of holly if you really want it to look festive.
Day 21 of the Blogger Advent Calendar was brought to you by Donna whose ramblings, rants and realities you can find over at Mummy Central. Donna is a 40-year-old Geordie living just outside of Edinburgh with her Lancastrian husband and their two gorgeous boys, aged 5 and 7.