Austrian Apricot Dumplings!
Updated: Mar 20
If there is one thing I've discovered in my travels, there is no limit to the things you can learn during a river cruise!
During my visit to Spitz, Austria, I had the pleasure of taking a hike up through the vineyards and seeing the Danube far below the thousands of grapevines. What I didn't expect to find and learn about though were the apricots. I love apricots and as we walked back down through the vineyards to the town below we came upon orchards that were literally in the backyards of the people who live there.
I learned that in the 19th century, vineyards in the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley needed another staple fruit to grow. Apricots were brought to the region and have since flourished. These apricots are famous for the delicious flavors cultivated from the unique soil that combines the influences from the Danube River and the Wachau Valley itself.
The apricots are used to make liqueurs, chocolates, brandies, and of course jellies and jams. I recently found a recipe courtesy of AmaWaterways that I'm excited to try!
3 ½ ounces (100 g) butter, room temperature
18 ounces (500 g) quark or farmer’s cheese (Topfen 20% fat) (readily available substitutions for quark are cottage cheese or ricotta cheese)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups (270 g) flour
1 pinch salt
16-20 small, ripe apricots
16-20 cubes of sugar
5 tablespoons (75 g) Butter
10 ½ ounces (300 g) dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
To make the dumpling dough mix the butter and eggs in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Add the quark, vanilla, sugar, flour and salt and mix everything together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.
Wash and dry the apricots. Slit one side open, remove the stone, replace it with a sugar cube and press the apricot closed again.
To shape the dumplings, keep your hands well-floured. Using a soup spoon scoop out a generous portion of dough, flatten it with your hands, place an apricot, slit side down, on the dough and wrap the dough around the apricot, sealing the edges. Lightly shape the dumpling into a ball. Place dumplings on a plate and keep chilled.
For the crumb coating melt the butter in a large frying pan and slowly toast the breadcrumbs, stirring often and watching carefully to prevent them from burning. Remove from heat and stir in the granulated sugar.
In a large, wide pot, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and lay the dumplings into the simmering water. Once the dumplings have come to the surface of the water, simmer them on low Heat for an additional 10 minutes so that the apricot inside cooks through. Remove the dumplings and roll them in the toasted crumbs to coat. Place finished dumplings on a platter while cooking the rest. Serve dumplings with additional crumbs, powdered sugar and some warm Berries Ragout.
Want to try this dessert in Austria with fresh apricots from the Wachau Valley? Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page!