Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hungarian Plum Dumplings

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Andrew's mom is Hungarian, and so was his grandmother as well. Hungarian foods are part of his childhood memories. He told me that his grandma used to make these dumplings that he really likes. This is a typical Hungarian recipe.

The recipe starts by making the dough, which is made with potatoes, flour, eggs and butter.
The plums are the red ones, also called black plums. Do not choose plums that are too soft or they will not hold their shape during cooking. It might take you a couple of dumplings to figure out just the right amount of dough for each one, so that the juices from the plum don't mess up the consistency and shape of the dough.

The rest is pretty easy. Just boil the little guys in salted water, pass them in some buttered bread crumbs and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top.
You can make the potato dough one day ahead of time and keep in the fridge.

Hungarian Plum Dumpling Recipe

makes 20 dumplings

1/2 lb floury potatoes

1 beaten egg

2 tabelspoons unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
10 black plums, ripe but firm
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups breadcrumbs (brioche which is slightly sweet makes great breadcrumb for this recipe)
sugar-cinnamon mixture

Boil washed potatos with skins on in plenty of water. Put under running cold water for a minute, peel and puree. Mix potatos with the beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and the flour until a smooth dough is obtained. Add more flour if it's too soft. Some people put a little sugar in the dough - I didn't, but would probably do next time.

Remove the pit from the fruits. During this process, I found it was better to split them in half and remove the pit with a small teaspoon. I used half a plum for each dumpling, but it is your choice, it can be a whole fruit, or just a few pieces. Spoon one tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar inside each half plum and set aside.

On a well floured surface, roll the dough until about 1/4 inch think. Cut it in squares that will wrap the fruit pieces. The best way to wrap them is to fold the edges of the dough around the fruit and them make a ball shape with your hands. Keep flouring your hands if it gets sticky.

Boil dumplings in a large pot of salted water. Dumplings will rise to the surface, once they do, wait about 5 minutes and remove them.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the remaining butter (1 stick) and add the breadcrumbs. Cook lightly, so the crumbs are buttered.

Carefully roll the dumplings in the breadcrumbs and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and enjoy!


Unknown said...

oh my god! those are gorgeous and they must be delicious! however...hmmm not a big fan of plums, what else can i put inside...chocolate?

Alli said...

this is so exciting--my grandmother used to make these for me and i've been wanting to give them a try myself for years.

Rita said...

Alli - try it out, but be aware that it is messy!!! Very worth though...

Anonymous said...

This dish was a family favourite of ours too - usually for dinner. My Mom always used lekvar - a thick plum or peach jam which I think would be much easier and less messy than using fruit. Next time you make mashed potatoes,cook extra potatoes to use for the dough on another day. If you want a savoury version, make dough into gnocchi style dumpling and mix with fried bacon or fried cabbage or a combo of both bacon and cabbage.

Berenice said...

Thanks for the recipe! These dumplings are really delicious. I´m a part Hungarian too and loved them as a child. :-D Great and easy recipe!

JM said...

We ate these in Croatia, where they're called knedle, and we thought they were from the Czech Republic (the name we use sounds Slavic, not Magyar). I wonder what Hungarians call them. At any rate, thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

JM, they're called "Szilva Gomboc". Translated 'plum dumplings/balls'

I'm also Hungarian and enjoyed these every late summer when the plums were available. I still make them. They are very easy to make once you know how.

The plums used are sometimes called Prune Plums. Test one at the market to make sure the seeds come out easily. Also, use a whole plum. Makes for a juicier Gomboc. I like to brown the bread crumbs in some oil, and I mean BROWN. Nice dark golden brown, and sprinkle powdered sugar on. Lots of cinnamon inside. I'll try eating them with cinnamon sugar next time. Never thought of that before.

... Suzanna

Anonymous said...

Mocochocolata Rita and everyone else, Oma liked to make these with Apricot, Italian prunes are not easy to find and american plums are rather large to use, so either use half a plum or make more dough.

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