Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ovocne Knedliky- also known as Fruit Dumplings

Earlier this year we visited Prague in the Czech Republic. I have a friend who told me I had to have the fruit dumplings and it was raved about in guidebooks as well. Sadly, it has been pushed aside at many more modern restaraunts in favor of more 'modern' food. Not so in the fairytale town of Cesky Krumlov. We went specifically to this one little restaurant/pub because I had read about their fruit dumplings and that they were the best to be found. It was no exaggeration. My husband still laughs at us digging in to it, and then ordering a second dish of them. We had to find them any other place we went after that. As a side note, in the Czech Republic it is an old tradition to eat desserts for a meal on Sundays. That's what our tour guide told us. This is something that is served either as a dessert or a main course and it is listed in both places on most menus it is found.

I found a couple of recipes here and here. The one that follows is my own adaptation of these based on how I remember those first (and best) ones we tried in Cesky Krumlov, and comments on recipes I looked at from Praguers. Billy agreed. It is surprisingly easy to make though it still takes up to an hour just because you have to wait for things to boil.

Ovocne Knedliky

1 c. whole milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 cups flour, separated
mixed berries (frozen ok) or other fruit
melted butter
dry cottage cheese
powdered sugar

In a large saucepan, bring milk, butter, and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in egg. Gradually whisk in 1 c. flour. Use remaining 1 c. flour to flour a board or wax paper. Turn out dough onto surface and knead, picking up some of the flour until it makes a nice ball. Roll dough out. Bring large pot of water to boil. If you have a straining basket you can use in the pot it will make things much easier. Rip pieces of dough off to cover about walnut-sized chunks of fruit. Drop dumpling into boiling water and let boil until it rises to the surface, about 10-20 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to allow water to drain. Place on plate and drizzle generously with melted butter. Follow generously with cinnamon. Sprinkle dry cottage cheese over it. Top off with a generous topping of powdered sugar. Serve hot.

A note on ingredients: You can use berries, apricots, plums, or peaches for the dumplings. Fresh or frozen is fine. I made these with a frozen berry medley. While in Prague I determined the mixed berries were my favorite filling although the only other ones I had were strawberries or raspberries. You may also top with whipped cream as well. Don't be afraid of the sugar and cinnamon.

To make dry cottage cheese: Rinse cottage cheese in a colander until it is just curds and let sit so that remaining water dries off before adding. I think about 3/4 c. would be just about right for this recipe. You can leave this off but in my opinion it is not as good and just not the same. My husband, who hates cottage cheese, disagrees.

**I have pictures to post just as soon as my Google account updates and lets me add photos again**


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is the recipe I am looking for. We had this wonderful meal in a restaurant in lake Lipno and I loved it. This recipe seems the right one. I am going to try to make this and will let you know if I succeeded.
Karin from Holland

sasa said...

Thank you so much for this recipe! I haven't tried out yet, but i'm very eager to! I think im going to make these next week friday.
If you could, you should upload some pictures too :) Thanks again!