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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Czech Fruit Dumplings

My mom and dad would occasionally make Czech fruit dumplings for us during the lent season on Fridays. They tasted so good as the dumplings were stuffed with either plums, apricots, or occasionally berries. They were served piping hot on a plate with a spoonful of hot butter and dusting of cinnamon sugar. I still enjoy them to this day.
My dad would always complain that when he was a youngster working on the farm with my grandparents, he would endure many of these heavyweight dumplings on hot summer days only to be put into a lethargic state and be rendered non-productive the rest of the day. I initially thought that was sort of an odd thing to make in the hot summer, but it actually makes sense preparing fruit dumplings in the summer months since so fruits and vegetables are in season.
I have prepared this traditional Czech dish and received good ratings from my tasters (family). I recommend the plum and even strawberry filling. Just don’t overdo it with eating too many dumplings or you will find yourself extremely weighed down in pursuit of a nap.

Fruit Dumplings (with Strawberries)
1 egg
2 cups flour
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups strawberries, whole
2 teaspoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1.Sift flour, salt, and baking powder.
2.Mix egg and milk and add to dry mixture.
3.Knead lightly.
4.Cut dough into several small pieces (large enough to cover two whole berries).
5.Place fruit over flattened dough piece and seal tight around fruit.
6.Place dumplings into boiling water and cook for fifteen minutes, covered.
7.Remove from kettle and place on platter to dry and cool down slightly.
8.Serve with melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your site, am just now getting ready to make your version of yeast dumplings.

Which leads me to post that there are almost as many different kinds of fruit dumplings as there are dumplings which are served with meat. In my family, we always made a cheese dough, which if made with cream cheese, could be rolled quite thin. The traditional version is made with tvaroh -- a very fine cottage cheese (like baker's cheese, but not quite so dry). Another very common version is made with a potato dough. And then there is the yeast dough variety, which you describe... very heavy, as you say!

Back in the motherland, the most common topping is grated tvaroh (this time it is a crumbly cheese; closest I have ever found here is a ricotta salata with no salt in it), melted butter, and powdered sugar (and maybe some ground poppy seeds in some families).

Try the cheese dough some time -- they are much lighter!