September 17, 2018
Mid-September is the time when the second round of plums gets ripe. Early summer plums are usually too juicy for this recipe, and can soak and rupture the dumpling wrapper when boiling. Fall plums are much meatier, and therefore more appropriate for cooking, let it be jams or dumplings.
Potato-based dumplings are quite common across the region, and the dough we are going make is perhaps best known in a form of gnocchi.
Although potato dumplings are sometimes a by-product of mashed potato left-overs, they turn out much softer if potatoes are made separately and without all the moisture contained in the usual mashed potatoes, which raises the flour to potato ratio in the dough and makes dumplings harder. Plum dumplings, just like gnocchi, however, need to stay soft and fluffy, although they are served as a desert rather than a savoury dish.
We cook our potatoes whole, peel them when cooked and mash them while still warm together with butter, a pinch of salt, nutmeg and an egg.
When they are more or less mashed, we mix the flour in. If we use more potatoes, we’ll have to add more flour.
Since the dough is supposed to be relatively soft (and sticky), we’ll have to use a lot of flour on the surface of the rolling board and on the top of the dough itself. We roll the dough until it’s 0.5- 1 cm thick (or just use our hands to flatten it – as we did today) and then cut it into 5-7 cm squares.
Into each of the squares goes a destoned plum with a sugar cube and some cinnamon in place of the stone.
Wrap the plum into the dough, squeeze it gently with both of your hands and smoothen the surface by rolling it around on your working board.
Boil a big pot of water, then throw 4-5 dumplings in. When they come to the surface, cook them for about half a minute longer then take them out.
Fry some breadcrumbs in butter and serve a spoon of this mixture with a dumpling. You can also add some sugar and cinnamon on the top.
If you let the dumplings rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving then the sugar inside will melt and the plum will soften. Also, your tongue won’t get burnt, so it’s really worth waiting, if you can.