October 13, 2010

Plums


 




Plums are now in season and with a great taste, they also have a great nutritional value.Today, varieties are offered on a market. Some of them are firm red-Satsuma,dark yellow-Mirabelle, green firm - Greengage, or my favourites called Damson/Italian or at some places also called just prunes. Anyway, there are so many recipes and a ways of consuming plums in the kitchen and further.They can be eaten fresh or used in jam or preserves making. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine. When distilled, it produces a brandy known in Eastern Europe as Sljivovitz, Rakia. Dried plums - prunes contain many antioxidants. Chinese go even further with flavouring, from salty to spicy , ginseng, etc..
I experimented with many different plum recipes : savoury and sweet. Dumplings (knodel-knedle) were my favourite childhood comfort food. I recently got an idea for a flourless(no wheat flour) cake, just because I had some over riped plums in the fridge and only corn flour, left from a corn bread baking a day before.
It turned out moist and flavourful!

Prune Corn cake

15 chopped prunes
1/3 cup corn flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder

First beat eggs with sugar. Add corn flour, mix well. Add other ingredients and blend them evenly.
Bake in oiled round medium size pan for about 25 minutes on 180 C.



Plum dumplings (Knedle)


For the topping :                   
                                                     
1/3 cup of oil
1-2 cups of bread crumbs
1/2 cup sugar

For the dumplings

15 Italian prune plums
6 large gold potatoes, peeled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 to 3 tablespoon flour

For the dumplings: Wash the plums and pit them by cutting a small slit along one side of the fruit. The pit should pop out easily if the plums are ripe. Set aside.
Place the potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cooking for about 30 minutes, until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and process through a potato ricer and transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Add the egg, a pinch or two of salt to taste and the vegetable oil, mixing well. Gradually add just enough flour, so that the potato dough becomes firm enough to hold its shape when formed around each plum. Enclose each plum in a thin, even 1/8-inch layer of dough by rolling the fruit individually in your hands.
When ready to cook, bring 2 quarts of water barely to a boil (not a rolling boil) over medium-high heat. Cook the dumplings, working in batches, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Using a slotted spoon, drain slightly and transfer to a heated oil with breadcrumbs. Roll the dumplings in the topping to coat. Sprinkle with sugar. Serve warm.

For the topping: In a medium saucepan over low heat, while dumplings are cooking ,heat the oil. Gradually add 1 cup of the bread crumbs.

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