hungarian szilvásgombóc (plum dumplings)
Yes, plums again. It´s not that I´m apologizing but I feel that plum-season is very short and every autumn I want to eat for a whole year. I want to eat as many plums that I feel sick of them so that is easier to wait until they come around the next time.
On weekends I go to the Arabic open air market and buy my fruits and vegetables for the coming week. It´s very convenient to do your shopping there as you find both "western" and more "middle eastern" veggies and herbs on the same place.
As soon as I have some nice ingredient I sit down on the floor in front of my cookbook shelf and start looking for nice, new recipes to use them in. This year, after looking and looking and not finding anything satisfactory, I just realized that the reason is that plums for me always mean szilvásgombóc in the first place. You just say the word to a Hungarian, and immediately and guaranteedly you see a new, happy spark in their eyes. Some of them start talking about granny´s plum dumplings, because Hungarian grandmothers are always famous for them. (Attention! In the case of szilvásgombóc it´s not Mother´s dumplings!!)
This is said to be a typical Hungarian dish and the "authentic" recipe calls for cooked potatoes for the daugh. However, I have a cookbook that is a collection of hungarian, székely and a few Armenian and Romanian dishes that are cooked in Transylvania and there I found a different recipe. The author says, that this recipe is better for those with a "weak stomach, as it doesn´t cause as much heartburn as the one with potatoes". That was interesting! Also she claims that these dumpling won´t get hard when cold, as opposed to the potato ones. Well, that was all I needed and I was up for the new(ish) adventures.
Plum Dumplings ( a non-authentic one :P)
12 large ones
1/2 liter water
2 tbsp oil
1/2 liter flour
a knob of butter
Boil the water with the salt and oil, turn off the gas and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon. When the dough has cooled a bit, work in the eggs, one at a time.
On a clean floured surface, roll dough out to 1 cm thick. Cut dough into 8-10 cm squares (depending on the size of the plums) and put a plum into center of each square.
Place 1/2 tsp sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon in the hole of the plum.
Fold corners to the middle and roll the dumpling in your hands till round.
Cook a few dumplings at a time in salted water for about 10 minutes or until the dumplings surface and start rolling over several times. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Place in a pan in which bread crumbs have been toasted in butter and mixed with sugar and cinnamon. Keep warm.When all the dumplings have been cooked and are in the pan, gently spoon the bread crumbs, sugar and cinnamon mix over all.
Serve warm with bread crumb topping and a dollop of Sour Cream if desired.
If you (like me) are not able to roll out the dough to a perfectly square shape, you´ll have some dough left. Don´t throw it out, make gnocchi shaped nudlis, cook, mix with breadcrums and serve. As a child I remember I loved these little treats, I found them very cute...
I don´t mix in the sugar with the bread crumbs, but serve separately as everybody has different tolerance or need for sweet.
I use brown sugar as I find it goes well with cinnamon.