Authentic? If I take some in to celebrate my employer’s birthday, I can find out. She’s from Austria and has said that these dumplings are one of her favorite Austrian foods. Since she’s a professional baker and has been in the business for at least 20 years, it could be humbling, though. How do you approach birthday dessert for a person that produces decadent layered tortes every day? Buy a cake from a competitor? Bring in a humble pie baked in your home kitchen?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing some casual research on Austrian desserts. Was there anything that I could make and bring to share with the kitchen? A three-peaked souffle wouldn’t last the 1/2 mile walk between my apartment and the restaurant, so I scratched Salzburger Nockerl off the list. Marillenknodel sounded a bit more of a possibility. The problem is that you’re supposed to serve them hot, rolled in butter and toasted bread crumbs, after boiling them for 15 minutes. So, I may end up eating this batch and leaving the birthday celebration to one of the cooks or her family members.
There are variations in the recipes that I found for Marillenknodel. Some include a farmer’s cheese as part of the dough. I chose the recipe that used potato, because it sounded most like what Doris described.
2 cans apricot halves
2 large russet potatoes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons butter
Boil the potatoes in their skins, until just soft enough to break apart. Drain the water off and let the potatoes cool ( Do not rinse them with cold water.). The skins should peel off easily. Pass the potatoes through a ricer (I used an almond grater. One recipe suggested just crushing them with a rolling pin).
To the potatoes, add 4 T butter, 2 1/2 cups flour and one beaten egg. Form a smooth dough, being careful not to overwork it, else it fall apart in your hands.
Roll the dough into a log, and then divide it into 12 pieces. Form each piece into a flat disk. Place one apricot pair in the center of the dough disk. Wrap the dough around the fruit and pinch the opening to seal it.
Place the the dumplings in boiling salt water, then lower the heat to allow them to simmer for 15 minutes. They should end up floating.
Meanwhile, fry bread crumbs in butter. The recipe I followed suggests 3/4 c bread crumbs, 1/4 c semolina, and 5-6 T butter. I’ve only done one test dumpling, so I don’t know if that is enough for 12.
Remove the dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon. Roll each one in the fried bread crumbs, then sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. Serve hot. Raspberries or a red fruit preserve is a nice accompaniment.