Proper Polish plum dumplings (aka knedle)…

I went home to Cambridge last weekend and on arrival was greeted with the sight of my sister cooking up a batch of knedle. Now…knedle are proper Polish fayre…don’t be put off when I tell you that they’re actually plum dumplings made by wrapping whole plums in a dough made from pureed potato! They are then boiled, fried in butter and rolled in sugar! It may all sound a bit unconventional but as I’ve said before…don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…

It was a real treat to have the knedle made for me as I’m usually the one in the kitchen. But I got my sister to give me a blow by blow account of how they were made…and it goes a little something like this…

You need…

1kg potatoes

1.5 cups plain flour

1 tbsp potato flour (I’m reliably informed that you can buy this in Holland and Barrett)

1 egg

1 tbsp butter

salt

680g plums (approx)

extra butter for frying

sugar to sprinkle

sour cream to serve (optional)

Rinse the plums, cut them in half, remove the stones and pat them dry.

Peel, boil and drain the potatoes. Add a knob of butter and mash really well. If you’re lucky enough to have a potato ricer…use it!

Leave the mashed potato to cool slightly and then add the egg, salt, sifted flour (both varieties). Quickly knead into a smooth dough. Divide the dough into pieces, you will need a blob of dough per plum. Take each blob and pat it between floured hands. Take 2 halves of plum, reassemble it into a whole and wrap it in the dough to form a ball shape like this…

Knedle aren’t usually this big but the only ripe plums we could find at this time of year were huge yellow ones, which meant our dumplings were monsters!

Bring some salted water to the boil in a big saucepan and gently drop a few dumplings in at a time. When they rise to the surface remove them using a slotted spoon and leave them to drain.

Now…you could eat them at this point, drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar but we took it a step further just as my Polish Granny used to do.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and gently brown the dumplings on all sides…

When they have taken on a gorgeous colour, roll them in caster sugar…

Finally, serve them while they’re still warm with a generous dollop of soured cream…

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