Because one dessert is not nearly enough for the Spicebox Supperclub, Nalin excused himself to the kitchen to freshly prepare those Eastern European dessert dumplings for us. This was an intriguing combination of dumpling dough filled with a fresh apricot, wish fresh shavings of dark chocolate as a garnish.
Marillenknödel (Apricot Dumplings)
Recipe from The Wednesday Chef (adapted from Nicole Stitch’s Marillenknödel – http://www.deliciousdays.com)
1 pound fresh quark cheese
2 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest
12 small apricots
12 sugar cubes or 12 teaspoons of Demerara sugar
8 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
2 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cup semolina flour
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Scant 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for forming
2/3 cup plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs (increase to 1 cup)
1. Place the quark in a fine mesh sieve and let drain for an hour into the sink. If you don’t have an hour, 15 to 30 minutes are fine. Wash the apricots and dry them, then cut them open along their seams (only halfway!) and remove their pits. Fill with either a sugar cube or half a teaspoon of Demerara sugar.
2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a generous pinch of salt, and reduce the temperature until the water bubbles just very lightly.
3. In a big bowl cream together the strained quark, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of soft butter, egg yolk, semolina, sugar, vanilla, and salt using a wooden spoon. When it’s well-combined and fluffy, fold in the flour. Don’t over-mix. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and with well-floured hands, form the dough gently into a thick log.
4. Cut the log into into 6 equally sized pieces. With floured hands, gently pat each piece into a small disc, then place a sugar-filled apricot in the middle of the dough and gently wrap the dough around the apricot. Form a neat little dumpling (re-flour your hands as necessary) and double check that the apricots are completely covered by the dough. There will be seams, but try to make sure they are as closed as possible.
5. Carefully slip the dumplings into the water and watch to make sure none got stuck to the bottom of the pot, stirring, if needed. Let them simmer at low heat for 12 to 14 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pan over medium heat and toast the breadcrumbs in the butter for a few minutes. Remove the dumplings with a skimmer, then roll them in the pan with the buttered breadcrumbs until evenly covered. Pile the dumplings on a serving plate and dust generously with powdered sugar. Serve hot.
Yum! And for our final dessert, see you next week!