Growing up in the States with parents from Croatia meant I enjoyed wonderful culinary treats few of my peers ever tasted. During my childhood, I remember my mother bustling about the kitchen and I was eager to help when she began to make the delightful potato plum dumplings. I knew what was coming!
She gave me the task of adding the sugar to the plums and I would wait anxiously for the finished product. As mother’s years advanced, she made fewer of our favorite Croatian delicacies, much to our dismay. Knowing the dumplings are my niece Paula’s very favorite food, I decided to find the old worn cookbook to see if I could duplicate this treat for the family. My first attempt turned out better than expected and I had made enough for more than one meal. I prepared the dish again during the off-season for plums so I substituted apples once I used peaches. All of them were tasty, but the plums are still my favorite.
Last summer I spent an incredible day with Cathy, a lovely Canadian woman who was visiting Dubrovnik. We strolled the old town, visited several historical sites and spent time having a coffee break and the conversation turned toward Croatian cooking. Cathy asked me for the dumpling recipe and I promised to get it to her, but unfortunately, when we parted that day I had forgotten to ask for her email. Cathy I do hope you are copying this post now!
Plum Dumpling Recipe
3 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and cooled
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
16 Italian plums, pitted
16 sugar cubes
4 tablespoons butter
Many cooks use mashed potatoes, but I find using a ricer to be best.
Rice potatoes in a large bowl, add eggs and salt, mix until a soft dough forms.
Place sugar cube in center of pitted plum. Place a large pot of water to boil.
Using lightly floured hands, take a portion of dough and pat it flat in your hand.
Place a plum in center and bring sides of dough up over the plum enclosing it completely.
Moisten edge to seal if necessary. Carefully drop plums into boiling water and repeat until all are in water. The dumplings will rise to the top when cooked; remove carefully with a slotted spoon to colander.
Melt butter on low heat, add breadcrumbs and brown carefully, do not burn. Transfer dumplings to a serving platter and pour breadcrumb mixture over dumplings.
Alternately, for a desert you can dust with granulated sugar and cinnamon.