Plum Dumplings, also known as Galuste cu prune/Gomboti cu prune (Romanian🇷🇴), Szilvás Gombóc (Hungarian 🇭🇺), Zwetschenknödel (Germany/Austria) is one dessert which shares lots of boundaries, as you might see😁.
It is not known which is actually the true origin of this delicious dessert, but it is believed that it was invented during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is why this dessert is eaten in countries like Hungary, Austria and Germany. And it reached Romania through the German and Hungarian minorities. And I am so happy it did, because they are one of my favouritr desserts.
Plum dumplings are traditionally made with plums or apricots and they contain a potato based dough (don't freak out, it's delish), tons of cinnamon and buttery breadcrumbs. In Germany and Austria there are variations, meaning they are often served with vanilla sauce/cream, which is the version I'm presenting you today.
I discovered these dumplings when I was a kid - my neighbor who used to take care of me was making the most delicious plum dumplings in the world! It was one of the few things I accepted as a kid😅
Start by taking the seeds out of the plums. Cut each plum in half but NOT COMPLETELY, just enough to remove the seed. You can also use only half of plum for your dumpling but I prefer using one whole especially if they are tiny.
After removing the seeds, add the flavoured sugar an sprinkle it over the plums. Let them get their juices out for at least 30 minutes a room temperature. Set aside.
Prepare the breadcrumbs: in a pan, melt the butter (make sure you don't burn it) and add the breadcrumbs to it. Keep on stirring until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, then add the sugar and cook for further 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cinnamon.
In a pot add the whole potatoes (skin on) - do not cut them or peel them. Just make sure you remove the earthy parts from the skin before you add them in the pot. Add enough water to cover them, add the cinnamon stick and boil for at least 40 minutes or until a fork comes out easily. Once they start boiling, add a pinch of salt. Remove from the water once they are cooked and let them cool down a little.
After the potatoes have cooled down, you can remove the peel. The potatoes should still be warm for the best result. After peeling them, use a potato ricer (that works the best) but if you don't have that and I am pretty sure most of you don't have it, use a potato masher. You'll still have some pieces but that is okay. Just make sure you don't put it in the blender - that will make it overly sticky and will be impossible to work with it.
Once you mashed the potatoes, add the egg and a pinch of salt and mix everything well. When the egg is fully incorporated, add the 2 tbsp of semolina. After that, start adding the flour gradually. I feel the 150g worked perfect for me - he tricky part with plum dumpling dough is that most of the beginners don't know when to stop - they either add to flour or too little (been there done that). Just knead the dough and add the flour until you get a dough which is not overly sticky but at the same time not too dry and compact. If it's still a little bit sticky, that is fine.
After you have incorporated the flour, shape the dough into a cylinder. You can use some thread in order to cut it - this will prevent the dough to stick to your knife and it will make the cutting process easier, but if that feels too complicated to you, just use a knife to portion it. Once you do that, make sure you wet your hand s that the dough won't stick (do not skip this step). Take the dough and shape it into a disc and flatten it. Take one plum and cover it with the dough. Seal the dough properly and make sure there is no hole. Repeat the step for all the dumplings. You should have a total of 8-10 (it depends on the size of your plums, mine were small, so I had 8).
For the vanilla sauce, mix the egg yolk with the sugar and cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Separately, put the milk into a pot and add the vanilla seeds to it and the vanilla bean to flavor the milk. Bring close to the boiling point and then take it off the heat and gently pour it over the egg yolk mixture. Mix everything well, remove the vanilla pod at this point and return all the mixture in the pot and bring to a boil, mixing constantly with a whisker. Cook until thickened and starts boiling and then turn off the heat and add 1 tbsp of butter for extra creaminess (optional). Serve hot with the dumplings. Enjoy!