It has to be said, fruit dumplings are okay to have for dinner. I grew up with this dish. You can probably imagine that dinnertime was not really that stressful in my family, when you’re serving fruit for dinner to kids. My grandma made cooking look easy and fun, so eating and clean-up became fun too. Contrary to what some may say, homemade dumplings are not that hard to make, but it does take some finesse. The more you make them the easier the recipe gets.
Summer is just beginning this weekend and with it come stone fruit. This dumpling is particularly popular when made with Italian plums. That variety of plums is not readily available until late summer early autumn. When they do come into season it is usually a short window. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to enjoy fruit dumplings. Peaches make a nice dumpling. Last week I stumbled upon these mini SoCal peaches at the market and decided to get this recipe out.
Please note, I made this recipe very forgiving, if using mini peaches like I have done, you will have a high dough to peach ratio. This is great for flavor and it makes the recipe more foolproof for beginners. As you advance you may be able to squeeze more peaches into this recipe, with thinner dough covering. These adjustments will adjust the cooking time. Also if you do not evenly cover the peach with dough the dumpling might burst during the cooking process, falling apart.
This is a hard recipe to give a serving size for, you can either eat 1 as a snack or 3-5 as a meal. The peaches may also vary in size so that also complicates things.
For the Dough
3 Pounds of Peeled and Cooked Mashed Potatoes
1 Teaspoon of Salt
4 Cups of Sifted Flour (Separate Out 1 Cup)
For the Filling
2 Pounds of Mini Peaches (approximately 9-11, ripe but not mushy or rotten)
1/4 Cup of Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
For The Topping
3/4 – 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
5 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 of total quantity of Cinnamon Sugar reserved
Ground or Chopped Nuts Optional for Garnish (today I used some roughly chopped Pistachios, about a 1/8 cup, but ground walnuts are a nice addition too)
Peel and cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes, place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until done and drain. Either run the potatoes through a ricer or mash with a potato masher. Combine the mashed potatoes, egg and salt. Add in 3 cups of sifted flour and reserve 1 cup to the side. Combine the ingredients and then turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured cutting board. Begin kneading the dough adding the reserved flour as needed to stop the dough from sticking to your hands or the board. Make 2 long sausage like rolls. Cut into equal pieces that match the amount of peaches you have.
Using ripe peaches, cut the peaches in half starting at the top, going around the pit, leaving a small hinge connected at the bottom if possible. Gently pry the halves apart exposing the pit. Use a serrated grapefruit spoon to scoop out the peach pit and discard. Please note if you need to cut the peach in half leaving no hinge to separate that is okay, just keep track of the peach halves and keep the pairs together. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar. Reserve half of the cinnamon sugar for topping. Once completed with all of the peaches sprinkle inside to taste with cinnamon sugar. Fill a large stock pot filled with enough water to cover the dumplings, and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil. Place both halves of the same peach with cinnamon sugar inside on one of the dough pieces. Use the dough to cover the peach completely, pinching the end/openings closed. Roll the dumpling on the cutting board. Be mindful when covering the peach to keep all the sides even. You don’t want a thinner side of dough on one side and a thicker side on the other, making the peach off centered in the dumpling.
Drop 3-4 dumplings into the pot of boiling water, careful not to crowd them. Make sure they don’t stick to the bottom, once they rise to the top continue to cook for 15-20 minutes until the dough and peach are cooked through.
In a small non-stick frying pan brown 1 tablespoon of butter, remove from heat adding about 3 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs and stir until light golden brown. Roll 2 dumplings in the mixture one at a time and transfer to a plate sprinkling with about a teaspoon of the remaining cinnamon sugar and a pinch of nuts if desired. Repeat until all of the dumplings are covered.