Getting seasonal with strawberry dumplings
June 30th, 2007

When Johanna’s theme for this month’s “Waiter, there’s something in my dumpling!” caught my attention, my thoughts immediately started revolving around possible recipes and believe it or not they all had to do with…? Dumplings. We Bavarians truly love our dumplings and the Bavarian kitchen has countless variations of what we call Knödel: made with potatoes, old breadrolls, prezels, liver, semolina, curd or yeast dough, just to name a few. So one would think that with the vast number of options, why wait?! Per Johanna’s ground rules, they have to come with a filling and since most of my favorite savory dumplings don’t have a filling and my number one filled sweet dumpling has already been featured on delicious:days I was a bit in trouble. Hmmm…

Strawberry dumplings

What lead me out of the dilemma was an idea sparked by an email, sent by a friend with whom we will spent our upcoming holidays with: Georg, who traded in his pans (not pants!) for a rudder, promised to cook us his famous strawberry dumplings. There you go! Since the strawberry season is in full bloom we already had them in every thinkable way, with panna cotta or on-top of a cake, but as a filling for dumplings? Warm?

Strawberry dumplings

They are actually quite easy to prepare – once I mastered the sticky dough that is – and the combination of strawberries and poppyseed is not only a visual hit, it’s delish. Not exactly being a big friend of warm strawberries in general, the filling convinced everybody including myself. On the other hand, what makes or breaks this dish are really fragrant strawberries, it’s worth the extra mile if you can’t find them just around the corner. Thank you Johanna, for not only going for dumplings, but filled ones. In case the discussion whether or not dumplings are season-appropriate is still going on – these here definitely are!

Strawberry dumplings

In a big bowl cream together flour, salt, sugar, egg, butter, lemon zest and curd. (If you have the time to strain the curd, do so, the mixture will be a bit firmer and you can omit some of the flour.) The result will be a smooth and sticky dough, cover it and let rest for at least half an hour.

Meanwhile, carefully wash the strawberries, let them dry on a kitchen paper, remove the stems and cut them in equally sized halves or quarters.

Knead in some more flour (start with one or two tablespoons) until the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers any more and you can work with it. Key is to add only as much flour as really necessary, to maintain a light and fluffy dumpling texture. Knead dough briefly, form a log and cut it in 10 to 12 equally sized slices. Slightly flour your hands and form little discs, then place two strawberry halves on top of each, drizzle with a little vanilla sugar and wrap it with the dough. Form a neat little dumpling and double check that the strawberries are completely covered by the dough, to guarantee that the fruit juice stays inside.

Bring the pot of water to a boil and carefully slip the dumplings into the water, stir once to make sure none got stuck to the bottom of the pot, then close the lid. Let the water simmer at low heat for 10 to 12 minutes until they are done, then remove with a skimmer.

Roll them in a bowl filled with squeezed/ground poppyseed until evenly covered, then arrange on a plate, dust with some confectioners’ sugar and – if desired (Oliver thinks it’s essential) – drizzle with a bit of hot butter and enjoy.

070630-strawberry-dumplings03.jpg

Strawberry dumplings with poppyseeds

Recipe source: adapted from "Das Kaffeehaus" by Rick Rodgers, p.188

Prep time: 1 hour, cooking: about 15min.

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Ingredients (yields about 10-12 dumplings):

125g all-purpose flour (type 405), plus additional for kneading

a pinch of salt

25g white sugar

1 large egg

25g butter

zest of 1 untreated lemon

250g curd (40%)

~12 mid-sized fresh strawberries

~3-4 tsp vanilla sugar for the filling

~100g freshly squeezed/ground poppyseeds

confectioners' sugar

serve drizzled with hot butter

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