Apricot Dumplings (Marillenknödel) are a famous dessert, probably created in Vienna, Austria, then spread all over Austro-Hungarian empire, to countries like Hungary, Check Republic, Croatia etc. I remember they were often on our table in late spring and early summer, as well as even more popular Plum Dumplings in autumn.
My aunt had a small apricot tree in her garden. It was fascinating how this little tree produced so many apricots that she could give them to her friends, relatives and neighbors and still had more to freeze and turn into desserts. She would make the best homemade apricot jam, with whole apricot halves in it, apricot pie bars and apricot dumplings. It was amazing.
She used the old fashioned method of boiling unpeeled potatoes and then using potato press to make a potato dough out of it. Whenever I do it this way, the dough turns out grainy with large chunks of potatoes in it, which I don’t like. That is why I prefer the recipe for the dough (same as the dough for Mashed Potato Gnocchi) from my mom’s cousin who cooks peeled potatoes, mashes them and then adds other ingredients. In this way I get very smooth and pliable dough which is easy to work with.
Apricot Dumplings are the best made with fresh apricots. Frozen apricots may be used too, but do not defrost them completely (use half frozen) or they will turn into a mush. In that case you will need to cook dumplings longer.
- 2 lb potatoes peeled, 900 g
- 1 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp semolina
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 apricots
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- powdered sugar for dusting
Put peeled potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook until they're done. Drain.
Mash potatoes together with butter (I used hand mixer for this step, but you can make mashed potatoes any way you are used to). Let cool to room temperature.
Add flour, semolina, eggs and salt. Knead lightly to get very soft dough (do not knead for too long).
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a 1/4 inch round. Place half an apricot in the center of each piece, add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Seal it and shape it into a ball.
Cook dumplings in a large pan of salted boiling water. The rule says dumplings are cooked when they float to the surface, but in my experience, that is not enough. My dumplings took 15 minutes to cook completely. The only way to be certain is to take one dumpling out of the water, cut it in half and see whether it is cooked through in the middle.
While dumplings are cooking, fry breadcrumbs in butter until golden brown. Carefully remove the cooked dumplings from the pot and roll in the prepared breadcrumbs. Serve dusted with powdered sugar.