Austrian-style Apricot Dumplings

Our reci­pe for this Week comes from Aus­tria, and it’s intro­du­ced to us here by Jes­si­ca May.

I can still clear­ly remem­ber how my grand­ma often made apri­cot dum­plings during the holi­days. I always found this qui­te spe­cial, and it see­med like grandma’s very own indul­gence routine.

Nowa­days, apri­cot dum­plings are usual­ly eaten as a des­sert. They used to be thought of as a main cour­se, as inde­ed were the majo­ri­ty of Austria’s other pas­try dishes.

Did you know that this one-time luxu­ry dish, which then beca­me part of the menu of ordi­na­ry house­holds ever­y­whe­re, is now pro­tec­ted as part of the nation’s culi­na­ry heri­ta­ge? Unbe­liev­a­ble, but true!

It is one of the tra­di­tio­nal dis­hes to have its reci­pe kept in a safe in the Aus­tri­an Natio­nal Libra­ry in Vien­na, so as to pre­ser­ve it for posterity.

So, here is grandma’s very own indul­gence routine:

  • Pre­pa­ra­ti­on time: approx. 30 minutes
  • Res­ting time: approx. 1 hour
  • Cooking/baking time: approx. 30 minutes
  • Total time: approx. 2 hours
 Ingredients for making 5 portions:
  • 500g quark (curds)
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • some wheat semo­li­na, to bind the dough
  • 10 apri­cots
  • bread crumbs
  • sugar
  • but­ter
  • optio­nal: cinnamon

This is enough dough to make 10 dumplings.

Knead the curd, eggs, but­ter and salt into a smooth dough, add appro­xi­mate­ly 1 — 2 tbsp. semo­li­na, and knead again tho­rough­ly. Chill for about 1 hour to allow the semo­li­na to swell.

Pit the apri­cots You could use plums ins­tead of apri­cots, if you prefer.

Shape the dough into a roll, and divi­de it into 10 equal­ly-sized pie­ces. The dough can be a litt­le sti­cky, so always dust your hands with some flour when enca­sing the fruit in the dough. The dough casing should be about 1 — 2 cm thick depen­ding on the size of the fruit

Steep in slight­ly sal­ted, gent­ly sim­me­ring water for about 20 — 30 minu­tes (depen­ding on whe­ther you are using fresh or fro­zen fruit). The dough should rise nice­ly, and the fruit be soft on the inside.

At the same time, melt some but­ter in a pan, add the bread crumbs and sugar, and brown slow­ly over a gent­le heat. You can deci­de how much but­ter, bread crumbs and sugar to add. It’s all down to your indi­vi­du­al tas­te.
Once coo­ked, drain the dum­plings, add to the brow­ned bread crumbs in the pan, coat all over and ser­ve hot.
If you like, you can sprink­le them with some icing sugar and cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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