Plums are quintessential for Serbian cuisine for three reasons. First, the most important one, Serbs make famous plum brandy (rakija, šljivovica). The second is about making popular plum jam (pekmez). And the last reason for the popularity of this fruit among Serbs is
Plum Dumplings. Some people eat it as dessert, some like an entree. It doesn't matter as long as you enjoy this truly amazing food.
To make good dumplings is a tricky task. I tried a couple of times and failed, and then I found a really good and easy recipe and I wanted to share it.
I like to stick to original recipes when it is about traditional dishes, but this time it was opposite. I tried easier way, instead of regular potato I used instant mashed potato. The most important thing is that substitution doesn’t compromise the taste, in my opinion it makes the taste even better.
These are measurements for 34 dumplings, you can halve them, but I don’t recommend it since they will be eaten in a very short time.
You need for plum stuffing:
- ½ cup sugar
For potato dough:
- 34 small Italian prune plums or 17 big plums that are going to be halved
- 250g instant mashed potato
- 300g all purpose flour
- 100g Cream of wheat
- 400 ml cold water
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Wash and dry the plums. If they are too big you can halve them. Pit the plums carefully (keep the plums whole) and stuff it with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside.
- Make potato dough by putting in a big bowl ingredients in this order: instant mashed potato, water, 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 beaten eggs, Cream of wheat and flour. Mix everything with hands. When the dough is pliable and smooth, divide it in two pieces and make baguette-shaped loaves from each. Then, cut each loaf vertically into 17 small pieces.
- Stuff each piece with plum and shape it into a ball. You may need to wash your hands every time you make the ball. The whole job is rather sticky.
- In a large deep pan bring salted water to a boil. When you are done with shaping all 34 dumplings put them in boiled water. Not all at once.
- Dumplings should be done when they float up, but I would even wait for 3-5 additional minutes, just to be sure that they are well cooked. Dumplings could stick to the bottom of the pan, in that case remove them gently using a wooden spoon.
- While you are cooking dumplings make the topping. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add bread crumbs and cook until they become brown, add sugar and cinnamon. Remove it from the stove.
- Coat dumplings with the topping and if there is some left put it on the top when they are served.