22 August, 2015

Skilly 'n' Duff

Skilly 'n' Duff is actually something sailors would truly make long ago. Traditionally, it was a steamed dumpling that would take four to five hours to cook. I don't have that much patience, so I made a simplified recipe. It still takes about an hour and a half to make, but that's more reasonable and it's worth it. I used blackberries and plums, which were mentioned in the book Marlfox, but feel free to use your favorite fruits. You also could replace the mashed berries with jam of any flavor.

Skilly 'n' Duff

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 plums

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking soda.
  2. Mash the blackberries until smooth.
  3. Pour the milk and water into the blackberries and mix well.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. (I realize that at this point the batter has turned an unfortunate grey color. I promise it improves).
  5. Chop or finely dice the plums (based on your personal chunkyness preference) and mix into the batter.
  6. Place eight four-ounce ramekins into a saucepan with a lid and add water to the saucepan until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. (I couldn't fit all eight, so I split them among two saucepans)
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the eight ramekins and heat the saucepans on the stove over low heat. 
  8. Once the water begins to simmer, cover the saucepans and allow the batter to steam for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out of the center mostly clean.
  9. These can be served warm or cold. If serving cold, remove the ramekins from the hot water and allow them to come to room temperature before covering and refrigerating, otherwise condensation will cause them to become soggy.
  10. If desired, top with meadowcream.  

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