Plum Dumplings

This plum dumpling recipe piqued my interest when I ran across it in the Bagg Farm cookbook. The Bagg Farm was a bonanza farm near Mooreton, ND and the cookbook includes many of the recipes that were used there as well as contributions from area cooks. I put off making them because the instructions were a little unclear to me. It sounded as if the dumplings were boiled, but I kept thinking they should be baked like apple dumplings. I talked to an older neighbor lady who said that she used to make them, and that they are indeed boiled, not baked.
While that seemed strange at first, the dough does not have any shortening, so maybe it would get too hard if baked. At any rate, I finally made them this afternoon.
I love dumplings of any sort, so I was sure that I would like these, and I do. The dough is very heavy however, and I’m thinking I should have rolled thinner than the 1/2″ suggested in the recipe. Also, there are no directions on how to close them up, so I tried a variety of methods. Some looked like small turnovers, and others were little purses with the 4 corners cinched in the middle. That style worked the best; just cut the dough in a square, put the plum in the middle and then draw each corner to the center and pinch.
The plum centers were soft, pretty and sweet, but not too sweet. The recipe was included in the memory of Mrs. John Kahoda from Lidgerwood, ND and the writer says to serve with ham. I think that is a great suggestion, but I didn’t have any ham.
**Note, a reader wrote to tell me that I have too much dough on my dumplings. The dough should just be enough to enclose the plums. She also suggested toppings of powdered sugar, melted butter, and poppy seeds.
You can search the term svestkove knedlicky to see images.

History: These are of Czech origin. Some people served them with cream. They are very heavy and can be served as a side dish or a dessert. I think many European countries have a variation of these.

Time and Effort: The dough was a little sticky and hard to roll out. Also, the dumplings stuck a bit to the bottom of the pan. Hard to clean!

Worth adding to the Repertoire: Not sure. Although they are good, I probably wouldn’t make again. We prefer apple dumplings and tend to have a lot more apples around than plums.

Recipe:
1 dozen Italian seeded plums
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
4 cups flour
(Delicious served with ham) Fill a large pan half full with water. Add 1/2 cup sugar and seeded plums. Cook while preparing dumplings. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder. Add beaten eggs and milk and mix. Add more milk if needed to make soft dough, (not sticky). Pat dough on a floured board, about 1/2 in thick. Cut into pieces large enough to enclose a plum. Put spoon of sugar into each plum enclose in dough and cook 5 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes covered or until fluffy. These are heavy and have a nice fruity taste. Serve with the fruit sauce they cooked in.
Bagg Farm Cookbook
*I used canned plums and used the juice and water for cooking the plums.

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