After reading a blog post about someone making plum sauce, I have to confess that I have just not been able to get plums out of my mind. An obsession? Perhaps.
You see, plums are one of my favorite fruits. The sweetness that exudes when biting into a ripe fruit seems to resonate through my very soul. Their dark color always seemed somewhat exotic in this common fruit.
I think also, part of the fondness of plums has a lot to do with my Hungarian culture that I was raised. There is the cherished Hungarian Plum Brandy (Silva Palinka) and various Hungarian dishes prepared from this wonderous fruit.
One of my cherished childhood Hungarian dishes is Silva Gomboc (Plum dumplings). This is a dish that defies explantion and description. Here is a description I found on a website:
Plum Dumplings are a treat many people have never had. Plump potato dough surrounding a pitted plum juicy with sugar and cinnamon, and swimming in buttered bread crumbs. When you cut into them the purple juices run out like a garnet river. What flavor, what a meal. Yes, this is a meal. Some men have contests to see how many they can consume at a sitting. Thirty is not unheard of, though four is an usual serving. You can not eat just one. Some Hungarian mothers make them big with a lot of dough, others use less dough.
Perfect for a rainy day. Evoking dreams of childhood, sweetness, and carefree days. Certainly ranks in the category of the perfect comfort food.
Here is a recipe (which I have not tried) that seems authentic:
2 1/2 dz. Free Stone Italian plums, washed, split, pit removed
4 or 5 medium sized Potatoes
1 egg beaten
4 cups of flour (unsifted)
1 tsp. salt
Buttered bread crumbs
Peel potatoes and cook in salted water till soft.
Drain and peel.
Mash potatoes and add warm to sifted flour and salt on a kneading surface.
Make a well and add egg and knead gently till all is blended.
On a clean floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick.
Cut dough into 4 inch squares and put a plum into center of each square.
Place 1/2 tsp. sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon in the hole of the plum.
Fold corners to the middle and roll the dumpling in your hands till round.
Cook a few dumplings at a time in salted water for about 10 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon.
Place in a pan in which bread crumbs have been toasted in butter (one cup crumbs to 1/4 cup butter) and mixed with 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon.
When all the dumplings have been cooked and are in the pan, gently spoon the bread crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon mix over all.
Serve warm with bread crumb topping and a dollop of Sour Cream if desired.
There seems to be no shortage of recipies for preparing this dish.