Saturday 10 September 2011

Autumn plum dumplings - Knedle

Although I'm back in Autumnal London now, I still have one thing left to tell you about from Poland. It's one of my all time favourite dishes - plum dumplings. We used tiny little plums for these we call "the Hungarians", or if you want to be really precise they're the Hungarian women ("Wegierki"). Don't ask me why in Poland every food has to have a nationality, because I haven't a clue, but it is quite sweet. Unless you take offense at having a plum, mushroom or type of herring named after you. Anyway, these tiny plums fit perfectly, one into each dumplings, but I haven't seen them in England, so you may just need to us half a normal plum. You can also make delicious "knedle" with peaches, if you prefer, or even strawberries, but in my family, it's always been plum

350g potatoes, mashed without butter
125g flour
1 small egg
pinch of salt
250g plums (peaches/strawberries)
100g breadcrumbs
50g butter
Brown sugar to serve

If you doubled the ingredients, you would still only need a large egg. Really for this amount, you need half an egg, but since that doesn't exist (unless you have a quail's egg handy), we used a whole one. This made the mixture a bit wet, but this doesn't matter, you just need lots of flour when forming it. You combine the mashed potatoes with the flour, salt and egg and blend with your hands, until you create a doughy consistency. Then, roll it into a baguette shape, like you can see on the second photo up there. Cover the plumbs with plenty of brown sugar. Cut the baguette shape into even slices, and make a little dent in each one - the sugary plum goes in here. Seal it thoroughly. Bring some water to the boil and place all the dumplings in it. Whilst they're cooking, melt some butter in a frying and add the breadcrumbs - cook until nice and brown. When the dumplings swim out to the top, they're kind of ready, but they'll taste better if you give them a few more minutes - maybe 5-6. Drain them, then transfer to the frying pan with breadcrumbs. Make sure that they are all properly coated and add brown sugar to taste. A great dish for when you feel that first nip of Autumn in the air, the only thing that could have made it better for me would have been a lovely, cold glass of Gewurztraminer

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