Low floating clouds, rain and the changing of leaves have my taste buds yearning for
tastes of fall; squash, pumpkin, and plums. Though we begin harvesting plums while it’s still high summer, I really start to eat them now. Our Italian plums are sweet and an enticing blue while our Elephant Heart plums are luscious deep red, full of sweet juice. Both are perfect for this fall recipe.
As much as I love to eat several plums in one sitting, I’m also a big fan of cooking and baking with them. The recipe that follows is one that I grew up with. You need a good number of plums (Italian plums are my favorite for this dish) and a couple of hours. This is the perfect sweet, warm dish to make on a fall day when the rain is coming down and you just want to settle into the warmth of your home. As there is rain in the forecast this weekend, I’ll be making this and sharing it with friends who are having their end-of-the season CSA potluck.
This is a German recipe that both my Oma and Mom made. This is a fun recipe as the steam from the cooked plums is what cooks the dough. Your kitchen will smell great and everyone will be tempted to remove the lid from the plums while the dough is steaming. Don’t do this as the dough will sink!
Steamed Sweet Dampfknudeln
8 C halved and seeded plums
Place plums in a deep cooking pot. Add 3/C water. If the plums are tart, add 1/4C granulated sugar. Cook the plums over low heat on your stove. Stir frequently so they do not burn. Once the plums begin to soften and break up, remove them from heat until your dough is ready to be placed into the plums and steamed.
Scald 1/2 C milk
In a mixing bowl combine:
1 package yeast
2 T warm water (110-115 degrees)
Let stand 5-10 minutes
Add to the yeast mixture once the yeast has proofed:
1/4 C butter (softened)
1/3 C sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Immediately pour scalded milk over ingredients in the bowl. When lukewarm, blend in, beating until smooth:
1 C flour
2 beaten eggs
Beat the above ingredients until smooth, then add
2-2 1/2 C flour
Mix this until you have a soft dough, then turn our into a lightly floured surface and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Knead for 5-8 minutes then form the dough into a large ball and place in a greased deep bowl. Cover and let stand in a warm place until the dough has doubled.
Punch down dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Cover with a towel and let rise on a cookie sheet until balls are doubled.
Return the plums to a low simmer, then add the dough balls (Dampfknudeln). Cover with a lid and steam for 30 minutes. Take care to not heat the plums at too high of heat, or you’ll burn the plums onto the bottom of your pot (I do this every single time I make this).
After 30 minutes, remove the plums and Dampfknudeln from heat and serve into bowls. Enjoy all the work you have put into the fantastic fall dish!