Plum Dumplings – Step by Step

September 14, 2020
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Delicious plum dumplings reicpe

Traditional Austrian plum dumplings, known as Zwetschkenknödel, are great as a dessert, or a sweet and meatless main course. I love to eat them for lunch!

Plum dumplings are common throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Being Austrian, I grew up eating plum dumplings every late summer and fall.


These dumplings are made by stuffing damsons or small plums into a potato-based dough. Then they are simmered in water and covered in sweet, buttery, and nutty breadcrumbs. Cutting the dumplings open and making the plum burst open will give you a weird satisfaction :-)


Plum dumplings recipe

Potato dough for plum dumplings

I make the dough with freshly riced or grated potatoes, which gives the dumplings a wonderful subtle potato taste that pairs well with hot plums. The dough is pretty similar to gnocchi dough, which is why you can use leftover dough to make gnocchi. I always prepare enough dough to make plum dumplings AND gnocchi :)

If you prefer plum dumplings with curd cheese dough, try this recipe.

Which plums for dumplings?

damson plums Italian prune plums
I used damsons from a tree in my parent’s garden for these dumplings.

The small oval damson plums are preferable, but Italian prune plums, which are similar, will work fine. Usually, the pit removes easily with damsons, which makes things fuss-free. In general: The smaller the plums, the better since larger fruits may not cook through and will not soften properly in the short cooking time.

By the way, you can use any (small) stone fruit to fill this dumplings. Apricots, for example, are super delicious.

Step by step recipe for plum dumplings

Easy Austrian Plum dumplings recipe

 

Grate potatoes and let cool. I use the small holes from a box grater.

First, you have to make the potato dough. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them and process through a ricer.

If you don’t have a ricer, grate them using the small holes of a box grater. Make sure there are no potato chunks left since they make forming the dough difficult. Let the riced/grated potatoes cool.

Potato dough for plum dumplings

 

Add the egg and incorporate with a fork. Here I doubled the recipe, hence 2 eggs.

Put grated potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and butter, then add flour and semolina. Stir until most of the flour is worked in. Add the egg and incorporate with a fork.

Dough for plum dumplings

 

Briefly knead until a dough forms.

Briefly knead the dough until the ingredients stick together and form a dough (do not overwork it). The dough will be rather sticky.

How to make plum dumplings

 

Flatten the dough into rounds, put a plum in the center and seal it.

Wash the plums. Cut each plum lengthwise, but not all the way through, just enough to be able to pit them. Remove pits. If you have a sweet tooth, you can fill them with half a teaspoon of sugar (I never do). Alternatively, you can leave the plums whole with the pit inside – this way it is easier to wrap the dough around.

Divide the dough into 9 portions on a well-floured surface. Tip: If your plums are rather large, divide dough into 8 portions. If you like dumplings with a thin dough layer, divide into 12 portions but be aware that they are more difficult to wrap with thin dough.

Flatten each portion to a round with well-floured hands and place a plum in the center. Tightly wrap the dough around the plum, sealing the edges and shaping it into a ball. If the edge isn’t sticking since you used too much flour, dip your finger in water and wet the edge to close the dough around the plum.

Plum dumplings

 

The shaped dumplings should look like this.

Make sure you don’t trap any air inside or the dumpling will not sink to the bottom of the pot as it is supposed to but will float from the beginning. No worries if it happens anyways, but it’s better if they are sinking down since the dough is cooked properly and the chance of bursting is lower.

Austrian plum dumplings

 

Coat the dumplings in a buttery mixture of bread crumbs, ground hazelnuts, sugar, and cinnamon.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the plum dumplings for about 12-15 minutes in slightly simmering water (no rolling boil) – they should float towards the end of the cooking time. Make sure that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot.

In the meantime, make the breadcrumbs. In a large pan, melt the butter, add the breadcrumbs and ground nuts. Stir well for a few minutes over medium heat until the breadcrumbs and nuts are slightly darker and smell nicely. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Remove pan from the heat and keep an eye on the buttered breadcrumbs because the residual heat can burn them easily (stir regularly).

Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the pan with the breadcrumbs. Roll the dumplings in the crumbs until coated.

Austrian plum dumplings recipe

Dust the dumplings with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers, store the dumplings in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.

Apricot Dumplings recipe Austria

 

If you prefer apricots and a dough without potatos (but farmer’s cheese), find the recipe here.

Have you tried apricot dumplings yet? Here is a delicious recipe for apricot dumplings with curd cheese dough.

Have fun making dumplings!

 

Plum Dumplings – Step by Step

Yield: 8-12 dumplings (depending on plum-size)

Plum Dumplings – Step by Step

For these traditional Austrian plum dumplings, plums are wrapped in a potato dough and covered in sweet buttery and nutty bread crumbs. They can be eaten as a dessert, or a sweet main course. I love to eat them for lunch! Depending on the size of the plums and the thickness of the dough surrounding the plum, this recipe will make 8 to 12 dumplings. Instead of plums, you can use other (small) stone fruit, like apricots, too. If you prefer curd cheese dough over potato dough, you can use this recipe.

Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com

Ingredients

    For the plum dumplings:
  • 500 g/1.1 lb potatoes (starchy ones that are good for mashing)
  • 8-12 plums (see notes)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons granulated sugar for filling the plums
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (37 g) wheat semolina (= cream of wheat or wheat farina; alternatively more ap-flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt + a pinch
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • For the breadcrumb-nut coating:
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) plain, fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) ground hazelnuts (if not on hand, use other ground nuts or more breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes: Boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 20-30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them and process through a ricer. If you don’t have a ricer, grate them using the small holes of a box grater. Make sure there are no potato chunks left since they make forming the dough difficult. Let the riced/grated potatoes cool.
  2. Prepare plums: Meantime, wash the plums. Cut each plum lengthwise, but not all the way through, just enough to be able to pit them. Remove pits. If you have a sweet tooth, you can fill them with half a teaspoon of sugar (I never do). Alternatively, you can leave the plums whole with the pit inside – this way it is easier to wrap the dough around. Set plums aside.
  3. Make the dough: Put grated potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and butter, then add flour and semolina. Stir until most of the flour is worked in. Add the egg and incorporate with a fork, then briefly knead the dough until the ingredients stick together and form a dough (do not overwork it). The dough will be sticky.
  4. Make dumplings: Divide the dough into 9 portions on a well-floured surface. Tip: If your plums are rather large, divide dough into 8 portions. If you like dumplings with a thin dough layer, divide into 12 portions but be aware that they are more difficult to wrap with thin dough.
  5. Flatten each portion to a round with well-floured hands and place a plum in the center.
  6. Tightly wrap the dough around the plum, sealing the edges and shaping it into a ball. If the edge isn’t sticking since you used too much flour, dip your finger in water and wet the edge to close the dough around the plum. Make sure you don’t trap any air inside or the dumpling will not sink to the bottom of the pot as it is supposed to but will float from the beginning. (No worries if it happens anyways, but it’s better if they are sinking down since the dough is cooked properly and the chance of bursting is lower.)
  7. Cook dumplings: In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the plum dumplings for about 12-15 minutes in slightly simmering water (no rolling boil) – they should float towards the end of the cooking time. Make sure that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  8. In the meantime, make the breadcrumbs.
  9. For the breadcrumb-nut coating:
  10. In a large pan, melt the butter, add the breadcrumbs and ground nuts. Stir well for a few minutes over medium heat until the breadcrumbs and nuts are slightly darker and smell nicely. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Remove pan from the heat and keep an eye on the buttered breadcrumbs because the residual heat can burn them easily (stir regularly).
  11. Roll dumplings in crumbs: Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the pan with the breadcrumbs. Roll the dumplings in the crumbs until coated. Dust them with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately. Enjoy!
  12. If you have leftovers, store the dumplings in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.

Notes

Plums: Use small oval damson plums or Italian prune plums. Usually, the pit removes easily with damsons, which makes things fuss-free. In general: The smaller the plums, the better since larger fruits may not cook through and will not soften properly in the short cooking time.

Freezing instructions: Pre-freeze the formed and uncooked dumplings on a baking sheet or cutting board lined with parchment paper. Leave some space in between the dumplings so they won't stick together later. Transfer the pre-frozen dumplings to a freezer bag (I always put 2 pieces in one bag for a single serving). For cooking, simply add the dumplings to boiling salted water, then simmer until cooked, see recipe above. The cooking time will be slightly longer.

https://www.lilvienna.com/plum-dumplings/

 

Plum Dumplings – Step by Step was last modified: September 15th, 2020 by Ursula

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