Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Plum Dumplings - Slovak Slivkove Knedliky


 This is a dessert my Mother used to make when I was growing up. Slivkove means plum in Slovak and Knedliky means dumpling. They are only made in the fall when the Italian Plums also called Prune Plums are in season. I find them for a short period of time in the grocery store and I always make these. I can extend the season because I prepare the dumplings and freeze them uncooked. 

This is a traditional dessert prepared in many Eastern European homes from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia etc. I always make them when Big Pete is away because he would never eat them. I eat a big bowl of them for dinner, truth be told! It is potato dough wrapped around a plum, then boiled and fried in breadcrumbs, butter and cinnamon sugar. I love them!

My friend Kim doesn't like the plums so her Mom always made them like cigars and tossed in the same yummy cinnamon sugar and breadcrumbs. I have made them both ways here. 

It's a taste of the "Old Country" as my Dad says!


These are the beautiful dark purple plums.

You will need:
  • 15 Italian Plums/Prune Plums
  • 2 potatoes (baking potatoes are best but, any kind will work)
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups flour
Breadcrumb topping
  • 2-3 tbsp butter 
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use a bit of Panko as well as regular)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (more if you like!)
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar (more if you like!)



Step 1: prepare the dough: start by boiling your potatoes until very soft. (better to over cook then under cook) Peel and mash your potatoes with milk until it resembles mashed potatoes. Add the egg, butter and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until you need to knead dough with your hands on the counter. Add additional flour only if necessary. Add the flour until the dough is no longer sticky. 


It makes a very nice soft dough that is easy to work with and flexible. I put in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour to let it relax.


Step 2: with additional flour roll out your dough to approx 1/2 cm in thickness - you need the dough to be thick enough to cover the plum and not break while boiling. Do not roll out dough too thin.


Step 3: carefully slice the plums open without completely cutting them in half. Remove the pits. Some people put a sugar cube in the plum but, I like it fine without.


Step 4: with a 3-4 inch cookie cutter or a glass make rounds. Use flour to ensure the dough doesn't stick. Carefully wrap each plum with the dough and pinch closed and roll in your hand to even out.


Step 5: once all plums are wrapped place on a floured surface and freeze for at least 30 minutes before boiling.


Step 6: with the left over dough you can roll out and slice into strips. These are for you Kim!
With floured hands roll into cigars and place onto a floured surface and freeze 30 minutes before boiling.


Step 7: boil a large pot of water. While the water is coming to a boil prepare the breadcrumb topping. Place all ingredients in a pan and cook on low heat, stirring to avoid burning. I like the topping to get nice and browned.


Step 8: when water comes to a boil put in dumplings. Reduce heat and cook on a slow boil for 12 minutes. If you cook them longer they can break. I remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place carefully in the pan with the browning breadcrumbs. I cook for a minute or two (careful they do not split) and plate.


You can top with more sugar and cinnamon and enjoy warm.


The cigars are good too! What is not to like! its like a cinnamon doughnut. 














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