Marillenknödel: Austrian Apricot Dumplings
Today I am excited to share with you one of my favorite Austrian desserts – Marillenknödel. Imagine a sweet summer apricot, surrounded in dumpling dough, and then rolled in toasty bread crumbs and powdered sugar – sounds amazing right? When we first moved to Austria, I frequently saw this dessert in the frozen section of the grocery store and I was interested to try my hand at making it myself. After reviewing several recipes, translating the process from German, and converting everything from metric to American measurements, I finally found a recipe that works for me and will hopefully work for you too.
Marillenknödel: Austrian Apricot Dumplings makes 8 large dumplings
You will need
1 cup topfen (quark cheese) or reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat semolina (Cream of Wheat)
8 ripe apricots
8 sugar cubes
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
Cinnamon to your liking
Powdered sugar to top
Begin by mixing the room temperature butter, topfen/cream cheese, and egg until well combined. Then add the flour, a pinch of salt, and the wheat semolina to create your dumpling dough. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes so the wheat semolina can expand and help hold the dumpling dough together, be sure not to skip this step. While the dough is resting, wash and stone your apricots, being sure not to cut through the whole apricot (think Pacman). Take each apricot and place a sugar cube in the place of the pit. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil your dumplings, salt the water.
After your 20 minutes are up, return to your dough and roll it into a long log. Cut the log into 8 equal pieces. Flour your hands and flatten each piece of dough between your palms, it should be large enough to wrap around your apricot and thick enough to not tear when shaped. Set your stuffed apricot into the center of your dough and fold the dough around the apricot to form a ball. I typically roll the ball of dough in my hands a couple of times once the apricot is inside to ensure that there are no seams that will split when placed in boiling water. Once the water is boiling, carefully place your dumplings in the water and leave to cook for 10 minutes. Be sure not to overcrowd your pot and check occasionally to make sure the dumplings are not sticking to the bottom, I typically will cook 2-3 dumplings at a time, feel free to adjust according to your pot size. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan with the 1/4 cup of butter for the bread crumb topping and let 2 tbsp of sugar caramelize. Once slightly caramelized, place the 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs into the pan and cook until golden brown, stirring constantly. Season the mixture with cinnamon and place your well-drained dumplings into the buttery breadcrumb mix, circulating the pan to cover each dumpling.
The dumplings are best served piping hot with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and go well with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
One quick note – since Marillenknödel are about the size of a tennis ball when cooked, I will often prepare enough dumplings for two people and freeze the remaining ones to enjoy later. To do this, simply place the dumplings into the freezer instead of immediately boiling them. Once you get a craving for Marillenknödel again, prepare boiling water and cook the frozen dumplings for 12 – 13 minutes, and adjust the breadcrumb mixture for your serving amount. I hope you enjoy this sweet Austrian summer treat!