My folks are in town for a few weeks. We wanted to make some German/Austrian food while they were visiting. Today we made Marillenknödel (German for Apricot Dumplings) for lunch. They are apricots wrapped in a cheese dough, then cooked in simmering water for 15 minutes. Then you roll the dumplings in toasted breadcrumbs and coconut flakes. Sprinkle each crumb coated dumpling with a little sugar and extra breading on the side and enjoy. It was nice to work with my mother to make these. One word of caution though, if the fruit is very juicy you need to take care or it could squirt hot fruit juice. You could easily swap out the fruit with plums (but they would be called “Zwetschkenknödel”in German).
The dough our family used most was called Topfenteig (the closest ingredient to that is cream cheese, though not the perfect substitute it works!) Other doughs used can be Kartoffelteig (Potato dough) or Brandteig (similar to the dough you use in creating cream puffs). Here is our family’s rendition:
Marillenknödel- Austrian Apricot Dumplings
adapted from a traditional recipe used in Austria
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp flour (plus more if needed)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
6 apricots (or plums- or even large strawberries)
Mix cream cheese, egg and salt together. Gradually add flour – enough to make the dough not overly sticky and easy to handle, but soft and pliable. Split the dough into 6 equal size balls. Flour a pastry board and us a rolling pin to gently make small discs of dough. Roll the apricots in flour and place in center of the dough rounds. Gently wrap the dough around the fruit and seal the seams. Repeat with remaining dough and fruit. The process of wrapping the dough takes some patience, but it is well worth the effort.
Allow the dumplings to rest (at room temperature) while you get a large pot of water to the boiling point. When it is at a full boil, lower the dumplings carefully into the hot water. They may sink to the bottom while others may float. Lower the heat so it is still simmering, but not a full boil while the dumplings are in the water. Gently stir the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any dumplings that may stick to the bottom, but this is usually not a problem. Cook for about 15 minutes.
In a large non stick skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Add the dry breadcrumbs (Progresso is fine) and coconut flakes and stir to toast the crumbs. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and place in the crumb mixture, carefully roll and spoon the crumbs over the dumplings. Place on a serving platter.
To serve, sprinkle each dumpling with about 1/2 tsp of sugar and enjoy. This makes a great breakfast, lunch or dessert.