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Plum Dumplings, Hungarian (Szilvas Gomboc) (D/P, TNT)
Source: "Adapted from Susan Derecskey," The Hungarian Cookbook, NY, 1972
Serves: 10 to 12

6 medium potatoes with the skin intact
18 small Hungarian or Italian purple plums
3 cups flour, sifted
3 eggs
8 tbsp. butter or margarine, room temperature
18 small sugar cubes or sugar substitute

Cook the potatoes in their jackets in salted (or unsalted) water.

Remove from heat as soon as the tip of a knife can pierce one easily, drain and cool until just cool enough to handle. Peel them, wipe with a paper towel and force them through a ricer.

If you have no ricer, you can use a potato masher or even a fork. You should have about 3 cups of loosely packed riced/mashed potatoes. Let them dry overnight (or, if you're like me, for about an hour and then pat them with another paper towel).

Make a slit on one side of each plum, remove the stone, and set them aside. Put the potatoes in a mixing bowl, add the eggs and mix with a spoon, preferably wooden. If necessary, flour your hands and work the dough with them, too. Add 5 tablespoons of the butter or margarine, one at a time, and continue working the dough until it is soft and smooth. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes or so.

On a floured surface (a wooden board or whatever you use for pie crusts and such), roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick and oblong. Too thin and they will fall apart; too thick and they are too doughy.

Cut it into squares big enough to hold a whole plum each, 3" to 4" square, according to the size of the plums.

Flour your hands. Hold a square in one hand and put a plum in the middle of it, cut side up. Pop a small cube of sugar inside the cavity of the plum and pinch the edges of the dough together, rolling it a bit to form a ball.

(If using a sugar substitute, use the amount necessary to get the sweetness of 1/2 tsp. of sugar.) Leave the uncooked dumplings on the floured board until almost time to serve them. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and drop the dumplings into the salted (or unsalted) boiling water one by one, nudging them a bit to keep them from sticking at first.

Boil gently uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Don't crowd them in the pot. If necessary, boil them in batches or use two pots.

In the meantime, brown the bread crumbs in the rest of the butter/margarine. When the dumplings are done, remove them carefully, roll them in the bread crumbs and keep warm until all are ready to serve.

Author's Notes:
1. If you have more dough than plums, roll small pieces of dough between your hands into little logs the size and shape of a finger, boil them the same way, even in the same water, roll them in the buttery bread crumbs also, and serve as a side dish.

2. Out of plum season, you can use lekvar instead of plums, with no sugar or sweetener needed, in a blob like the filling of a jelly donut, but before it's cooked.

Poster's Notes:
I can't use salt, so I didn't use any.
For the eggs, I use 1 egg and egg substitute.
I have made these lots of times, but have never seen anyone else prepare them, so for whatever reason, mine never come out round. They are sort of roundish, somewhere between kreplach and pierogi in appearance, but DH never wastes any time looking at them because they are delicious! Nowadays, I use less fat for fewer bread crumbs, and they're still good.

Posted by Carolyn C. Gilboa

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A