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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