Plum and cinnamon dumpling (szilvás gombóc)

This sweet and irresistible dumpling (szilvás gombóc) is a big favourite in Hungary and it has its own cult, with some variations, in the neighbouring countries, too. My lovely grandma was a champion of making them always asking all the kids how many they would like to eat just to receive some hilarious responses like a 100 or even a 1000 each! The surprisingly light texture that melts in your mouth with a trail of sweet, cinnamon scented juicy plum is just heavenly. All of those (foreigners ;) who thought it strange but was willing to taste it were all transformed into a fan! Mr Meron included!  

When you look at the ingredients, you have to realize that it is such an ingenious combo: plum and potato! In the old days when my grandparents had their trees full of juicy plums and they had their own potato in abundance, too it was a very creative and economic way to make a nourishing as well as very pleasing meal out of it! They needed a bit of sugar and spice to it, too, of course, but those were all pantry items.

My parents still do the same, they have lots of varieties of plum trees and potatoes, too thanks to my dad being an avid gardener, still believing in that you need to produce all the fruits and veggies that you want to eat as this is the best way taste, health and money wise!

As for me, I have to buy all these things and I miss the varieties from Hungary: the smaller, darker, sweeter and more aromatic ones than the ones in the supermarkets here. I will have to look around at farmers markets now in season!!

 

Note: when plum is not in season, you can use frozen ones or a very nice plum jam, too!

 

 

Ingredients

1kg of floury type of potato (like agria) 400 to 600g of standard flour 1 pinch of salt for the dough 1 egg 1 cup of cinnamon sugar (2 to 1 sugar to cinnamon proportion) 500g of plum (the small, sweet variety is the best) extra salt for the cooking water 2 cups of fine breadcrumbs 100g of butter sour cream (optional)

Method

Wash the plums, remove the seed and cut them into halves or quarters - depending how big they are. They should not be bigger then 2-3 cm, otherwise you will end up with really big dumplings. Set them aside. In a pan melt the butter and put the breadcrumbs in it and toast it gently until the crumbs become golden. Put it into a big bowl and stir 2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar into it. Cook the potatoes in their skin (better taste) in water until they are soft. Peel and mash them into fine consistency then let it cool a bit. When it is luke warm, add the pinch of salt, the egg to it and stir then keep adding the flour until you get a soft, but not very sticky dough that you can roll out about 5 mm thick on a well floured surface. Avoid though to add too much flour as that will make the dumpling hard! As shown on the photos above, cut 8x8 cm squares out of the rolled dough. Put half a tsp of cinnamon sugar in the middle of each square then one piece of plum. Pinch the corners of the dough together then roll a ball shape of it between your palms. Be gentle, you want the dough sealed all around the plum otherwise it will open up while cooking. Do this until your dough lasts. When all the dumplings are done boil some water with salt in it in a big pot. When boiling you can gently put in the water as many dumplings as it fits the bottom of the pot. Stir them gently around so that they do not stick to the bottom. They are ready when they float to the surface. Take the dumpling out and put them in the bowl with the toasted bread crumbs and toss them in it gently until each one is covered with it. Serve while hot with some sour cream on top (you can sweeten the sour cream optionally) and some extra cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Provide some extra sour cream and cinnamon sugar so everyone can add according to their taste. Enjoy!!
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