Sunday, 29 August 2010
Today's recipe is one that I adore but have never attempted myself. Marillenknödel (i.e. apricot dumplings) are so simple and yet I haven't made them once since moving to the UK. My mum always makes them when apricots are in season (i.e. earlier in the summer) but my local trusty supermarket had them on offer earlier this week so I thought I should give the whole thing a go.
With dumplings we always have a certain amount of debate in my family. My grandma grew up breathing the amazingness of Austro-Hungarian cooking and according to her a good dumpling is made using potatoes (even though there's all sorts of different dumpling bases from that region....) whereas my mum is not very convinced by the potato-dumpling idea. So today's dumplings are made using an approximation to my mum's version using Quark (if you're in the UK or the US, look for 0% greek yoghurt) which means you can tell yourself that you're eating something reasonably healthy :)
Since the potato dumplings my grandma makes are really good as well I'll make some when I find some nice damsons. Or we could even turn this into a celebration of dumplings and try as many different types of dumplings as possible...oh the possibilities!
The recipe below gives you 4 dumplings so just scale it accordingly
4 Sugar cubes (or if you can't find any just use about 1/2 tsp of sugar in each, light brown moscovado works really well in this case because it will stick together)
50g Plain flour
200g Quark (strain for about 30 minutes before you use it)
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt for the dumplings and a bit more for the water
Butter, sugar, and cinnamon to make it look pretty and taste even more amazing
Cut the apricots along the seam (only half though), remove the pits and replace with the sugar cubes.
Heat a large pot of water.
While the water is heating up, mix the quark, egg-yolk, lemon zest and the salt. Mix in the semolina and flour this is going to be a slightly sticky dough but you might want to only add 3/4 of the flour/semolina and give it 10 minutes or so to stand. If it still seems too sticky, add some more flour but keep in mind - the more flour you add the denser your dumplings will be and dense is not what you're aiming for).
Split the dough into 4 pieces and with slightly floured hands wrap the apricots in the dough. I find this works the best if you flatten the dough in your palm and then just fold the sides up around the apricot.
Once the water is boiling add some salt and turn the heat down so you have the water simmering away.
Stick the dumplings into the water and now you have to be patient (I know, how annoying is that!) and give them about 10-15 minutes (they start floating up when they're ready).
While you're waiting melt some butter in a saucepan and twiddle your thumbs (or send me an email, I'd love to hear from you!).
Once the dumplings are done, take them out (one of those nifty spoons with lots of holes works quite well :) but I'm gonna shut up now) and find a pretty plate.
To serve them, cut the little darlings in half, pour some melted butter over them and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (lots and lots and lots of it, like lots more than what you see in the photo).
Now you have two options :) you either share them with your housemate or a friend and make them love you forever or you just decide that you don't care about them loving you forever and have all the dumplings to yourself :)