Last night I learned how to make Zwetschgenknödel, a traditional Austrian dish that translates to something like plum dumplings. My host’s little brother Adrian was kind enough to show me how everything worked, and to let me copy down his recipe afterwards–passed down from his father. He told me that his family usually makes them when all the children are at home, and have a contest to see who can eat the most. And I can see why…I ate about five myself.
1/2 Liter flour
4 egg yolks
10-12 small potatoes
Stick of butter
A bit of sugar
1 cup coarse flour, like semolina (Grieß in Germany)
20 small Zwetschgen, of course–just normal plums in America
Cook and peel the potatoes, then mash completely until there are no more lumps. Let cool.
To make the Teig (dough), combine the cooled potatoes, egg yolks, flour, and a pinch of salt. It should be quite sticky.
Carefully cover each of the plums in a thin layer of dough–these are the Knödel (dumplings). You will need to cover your hands with flour first, or the Teig will get everywhere.
Place each of the Knödel into a pot of boiling, lightly salted water. They are finished when they rise to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.
In a large flat-ish pan, boil the butter, a bit of sugar, and the Grieß. Place the Knödel into the mixture, a few at a time, and fry on high heat until they are nice and brown. Remove, and serve right away.
To eat Zwetschgenknödel in the proper German manner, cut each one in half and sprinkle liberally with sugar.