Author & Photographer: Nikki Kasal
Though many cultures around the world boast their own versions of sweet and savory dumplings, fruit dumplings are a much-loved staple in Czechoslovak and Eastern European cuisine. This sweet dish may sound more like a dessert, but they are typically served as a full meal in Czech households and restaurants.
The relatively basic premise of cooked fruit wrapped in a soft dough is genius in its versatility: fruit dumplings can be made with different kinds of dough and filled with a variety of fruits, depending on the season. This recipe simplifies the traditional yeasted or potato dough recipe by substituting in ricotta cheese, making for a much shorter preparation time without sacrificing taste.
For the dumplings:
12 oz ricotta
2 cups flour
Fruit of choice (I used cherries, but other fruits typically used are plums, strawberries, or apricots)
For the toppings:
1.Wash the fruits.
2. Place ricotta and an egg in a large bowl and mix together with a fork.
3. Add in the flour one cup at a time. Once the dough begins to hold together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead with hands until smooth.
4. Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of dough and flatten it into a circle. Place the fruit in the middle (I used two or three cherries) and wrap the dough around it, sealing the edges. Roll in your hands until the dumpling holds together well.
5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the dumplings one by one with a spoon and boil for 10-15 minutes. The dumplings will be ready once they float to the top of the pot.
6. Remove the dumplings from water and add toppings of choice. Melted butter and sugar, along with tvaroh, a Czech farmer’s cheese, are traditionally used. Enjoy!