How to make Hungarian plum dumplings with recipe.
A heritage recipe from Hungary--Szilvasgomboc
Hungary has the perfect growing conditions for plums. My families orchard in the northeast of Hungary had many old plum trees. Stanley, Italian, SantVidor and Czar kind are best as they are freestone types. (Freestone means that the flesh comes loose from the pit). My Mom preferred to use the SantVidor freestone for plum dumplings as they are a bit smaller then the others but the Italian are more common, therefore easier to buy. (Also called freestone prune plums here in Canada) They usually are available from late August till mid to end of October.
Equipment you will need to have on hand:
- Large 5 quart stock pot
- rolling pin
- large frying pan
- potato ricer (masher will do too)
- nut grinder (or open-from-top coffee grinder)
- 24 plums (Rem: these are not the round black plums; these plums are oval shaped and have to be freestone.)
- 24 sugar cubes
- 6 large potatoes
- 3 + cups of flour
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter/margarine
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup ground walnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of oil
Grind walnuts until same as bread crumbs.
In a largefrying pan combine butter breadcrumbs and walnuts.
Lightly brown and set aside.
Boil potatoes whole either in skin or peeled. Set aside to cool.
The plums will need to be prepared before starting on the dough.
Remove the pits but do not split the plums all the way apart. (Grab the plum between thumb and forefinger and squeeze lightly at the two ends. The plum should split open on one side enough so you can remove the pit.)
The still intact side of the plum acts like a hinge.
Sprinkle the inside with cinnamon and replace the pit with a sugar cube.
Peel and rice Potatoes. (the only reason ricing is preferred to mashing is that the potatoes spread out better, lighter thoughout the dough. If potatoe chunks are too big the dough won't combine and will rip. So if mashing, mash them really well)
Set stock-pot to boil with 3-4 quarts of water and a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Cut the butter into the flour, until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add potatoes and salt and eggs. Knead the dough really well till smooth and elastic. Roll out on a floured pastry board to about 3/8 inch thickness. Cut into 24 4" squares(or as many pieces as there are plums). Place prepared plum in center; moisten the edges with a little water and pinch together around plum. It's a sticky dough so spinkle hands with flour and then roll dough gently into dumpling. Place on sheet of wax paper. Continue until all are done.
Drop a few at a time into the boiling water. The water must be hot enough to keep boiling but not too vigorously or the dumplings will break. It should take about 9 - 10 minutes and they will float to the top when ready. Gently take out with slotted spoon and place in a strainer. Replace water that evaporated and wait till its boiling again before adding a new batch.
Meanwhile take ready dumplings and roll gently in breadcrumb and walnut mixture in the frying pan. Once fully covered gently transfer into a shallow oven dish and put into oven on low heat. Serve warm.
Dessert or main dish???? That is the question.
It takes a little time to get those dumplings ready but well worth the effort. They were my Mom's favorite dessert. During the plum season we almost had them weekly always as a main dish. Usually after a bowl of thick vegetable beef barley soup.
Now I have a problem I want to make plum dumpling but as we're just coming into spring I'll have to wait for months to make them.
Plums are a very good source of vitamin C, of vitamin A, vitamin B2 & potassium. In addition, plums are a good source of dietary fiber. Plums are an excellent tree fruit that can be used in many ways for snacks and meals and is suitable for canning, freezing and preserving into jams and jellies.
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