Have you ever had a perfect food moment, when everything is just flawless: the food, the moment, the place and the people you're sharing everything with? Mine involves a snowy winter day, a sleigh ride, two people who are unfortunately no longer in my life and sitting in the windowsill in my favourite little country house, savouring every little bite of these beautiful plum dumplings. That day must have been one of the most perfect days of my life. It was many many moons ago, but every time I make these little treasures, it all comes back to me.
We all have an absolute, hands down, all time favourite food, right? You know, the food you would ask for for your last meal on this planet. Mine are plum dumplings. They're like sweet gnocchi filled with fresh plums, loadsa cinnamon sugar and rolled in toasted breadcrumbs. Some people like to serve them with sweetened double cream, but I prefer a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
I don't like a very potatoey flavour, so I use a little bit more flour than most recipes ask for. This will make them perfect when freshly made and served warm. The amount of flour you need also depends on the potatoes you're using. The dough must be soft, not too sticky so it can be rolled out easily.
400 g cooked, peeled potatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp semolina
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
16 to 18 small prune plums
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
powdered sugar and toasted breadcrumbs for serving
Deseed your plums. Mix caster sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Take each plum and fill them with the sugar mixture. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Push potatoes through a potato ricer in a large bowl. Add salt, egg, oil, semolina. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon. Now add your flour, in three parts and mix together with your hands. Work dough into a smooth ball. Add more flour if necessary.
Using a well floured working surface, roll out dough to make it 5mm thick. Cut dough using a sharp knife into about 18 little squares. Place a cinnamon sugar filled plum onto center of each square. Now shape them into small dumplings, using more flour if necessary. Cook them for about 15 to 20 minutes. Gently take them out into a sieve, letting excess water drip of. Place dumplings into the warm toasted breadcrumbs. Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve.