We’re back from a lovely vacation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. One of the special recipes that my mother-in-law always makes for us is from her mother. We’ve had it every year on vacation for the last 12 years. I’ve always thought the translation from French was Raisin Pudding and I found it really interesting to find out that the word poutine has 15 different meanings in Quebec and Acadian French. (Check out the Etymology of “Poutine” from Wikipedia.)

This is actually a pretty complicated recipe that requires a very specialized item. It is a cotton canvas bag with two layers of fabric.  You cook the dough inside the bag over boiling water and the steam cooks it. We haven’t been able to get the kids to try it but incredibly my husband loves this dish.

Here is the canvas bag with the dough inside. Just wait until you see what it looks like after it's cooked.

Poutine aux Raisin (Raisin Pudding)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 pkg seeded raisins (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/8 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Boiling bag – double-lined cotton canvas bag (this is the key to this recipe)

Prepare your boiling bag by wetting it thoroughly with cold water and flouring the inside of the bag. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the raisins to the dry ingredients and coat them well. Cut in shortening into the dry ingredients. Blend together eggs, oil, molasses and milk in a small bowl. Add to the other ingredients in large bowl and mix together to make stiff dough.

Prepare a large pot with water about 3 inches deep and bring to a boil. Add the dough to the prepared bag and tie the top of the bag firmly with cotton twine allowing room for the poutine to expand. Make sure the water is boiling and place the bag into the pot and cover. Reduce heat under the pot to leave the water at a slow boil and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. The steam in the pot cooks the poutine.

Drain the water from the pot and remove the poutine from the bag. Make large slices of the poutine and serve hot with butter and brown sugar sauce (Recipe for brown sugar sauce follows).

Okay, this looks pretty gross but it is delicious. We thought it looked like a brain.

We serve this as a meal. A slice of poutine with a dab of butter and covered with brown sugar sauce. My husband also likes this with a side of bacon. He eats the bacon with the sauce.

Brown Sugar Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 cups of boiling water

Mix flour and brown sugar together. Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil then simmer until thickened. Serve hot.

This is a delicious and mild sauce.