Friday, May 23, 2014

Czech Fruit Dumplings

When I would teach at English camp over the summer in the Czech Republic, my favorite meal was the blueberry dumplings!  They are so delicious and such a precious little treat.

The last time that I was in the Czech Republic, I picked up a cookbook for the sole purpose of making fruit dumplings.  There are many great recipes inside, but I am sure that these are the best, hands down.

I finally got around to making them!  Here is the recipe (I have tried to make it understandable, because it is a bit confusing and I actually had to start over, when the first time failed, within the first few steps):

Fruit Dumplings, Using Yeasty Dough

400 g medium fine flour (3 cups Flour)

25 g yeast (3 packets yeast)

1 teaspoon castor sugar

Approx. 200 ml milk ( 1 cup, I had to add more, you might have to as well)

Flour for rolling out dough

Fruit (blueberries, apricots, bilberries, plums, etc.) I used frozen blueberries.

Butter, melted (this is for drizzling on finished dumplings before dusting with sugar)

Confectioner's sugar for heavy dusting

I got these conversions by rounding up to the nearest whole, that was given to me from this amazing website: Convert-Me (It has saved me on a few occasions.)

1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour.

2.  In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and sugar, then add 2 Tablespoons warm water.  Mix into a paste.  Cover the bowl and when the yeast has fermented (grown in size), add salt and then add to flour, working it into a dough.  Add milk, dust with flour, cover and leave to rise. (**This was the tricky step because the directions are not written anything like this.  I think some things are lost in translation, I hope that this step is clear for you.  I adapted this after my mistake and a waste of yeast and an unwanted trip to the store to get more.**)  Note: My dough was still pretty dry after one cup of milk and I had to add more.  I added as much as I saw fit, in order to get a dough that was pliable.

3.  Turn out the dough on a board and cut it into equal size pieces. (I ended up with 14 and I probably could have made them smaller.)  Take each ball of a dough, one at a time and flatten into a disc.  Add fruit to the middle and fold dough around fruit, making a ball.  Make sure that this is completely sealed or it will bust when boiling.  Leave dough to rise another 5 minutes. Drop dumplings into boiling water in small batches and boil for 8- 10 minutes depending on size.

4.  Lift the dumplings out of the water with a slotted spoon and immediately puncture them  with a fork, a few times.  This will prevent them from congealing.

5.  Arrange dumplings on a plate and drizzle with a generous amount of melted butter and dust liberally with confectioner's sugar.

Note:  The next time that I make these, I am going to lightly sweeten the fruit, before wrapping it in the dough.

Eat up!  They are very good! And actually quite easy to make!

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