Cherry Dumplings (Potato Dough)

There’s a lot of overlap between Romanian and Hungarian dishes, which we learned when my brother married a Hungarian girl. Like these these potato dough dumplings that may be filled with sour/sweet plums or cherries. I had a pound of sweet cherries in the freezer so that’s what I went with. I used the ingredients and technique I found in a recipe online but reduced the amount of butter used and rewrote the instructions.

Cherry Dumplings

Cherry Dumplings – makes 30-32

Hungarian – cseresznyes gomboc
Romanian – galuste cu cirese

Potato Dumpling Dough
1 kg all purpose potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
400 gm (2 1/3 cups) all purpose flour, divided
1 large egg (55-60 gm), beaten slightly
1 tsp (5 ml) salt

Filling
680 g pitted sweet cherries (90-96 cherries)

Sauce
70 g (1 cup) dried breadcrumbs
200 g (~ 1 cup) unsalted butter (use half or less)
3 tsp (15 ml) ground cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp (30 ml) white sugar

Icing sugar, to serve (optional)

Scrub potatoes and bring to the boil in a large pot of salted water. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 1 hour or until tender. A steak knife inserted into the potatoes should go in easily. Drain the potatoes and cool slightly, then, peel.

For the best texture, pass the cooked potatoes through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl. Otherwise, just use a potato masher. Add 2 cups of the flour, the softened butter, salt and the beaten egg to the bowl and, with a fork or your hand, combine into a smooth mixture. Turn out onto a floured working surface and gently knead just until you get a soft dough, adding flour as needed. Don’t overwork/handle the dough or it will become tough.

Divide the dough in half and then each half into 15 or 16 portions to get 30-32 balls.

Working with one ball at a time, flatten a bit and place 3 cherries inside. Fold the dough up over the cherries to enclose them and re-roll into a ball. Place dumplings on a floured tray. (At this point, you can place the tray in the freezer and when firm, place into a freezer bag and freeze for 2-4 weeks. Boil from frozen.)

Working in batches of 5 or 6, drop the dumplings into a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 6 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Remove and place onto a large tray while making the sauce.

Melt the butter in a large frying or saute pan over high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook for a couple of minutes or until light golden. Add the dumplings, shaking the pan, for 2 minutes or until well coated.

Combine the cinnamon and sugar, spoon over the dumplings in the pan and shake again to distribute over the dumplings.

Serve 2 to 3 dumplings per person and dust with icing sugar.

NOTE: For the plum version, use one small pitted plum per dumpling. If the plums are large, cut them in half.

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8 thoughts on “Cherry Dumplings (Potato Dough)

    1. Thank you. They were very delicious. I’ve bought frozen ones but this is the first time I’ve made them. Embarrassing for a 60 yr old Romanian woman to admit. 🙂

  1. I didn’t know they were made from cseresznye as well, my family only made szilvás gombóc! When my relatives were here from Hungary I discovered that this is never eaten as dessert, but more of a light summer meal, even though there is sugar sprinkled on them sometimes!

    1. Hungarians love cherries as evident in sour cherry soup so why not in gomboc? I know Hungarians who use apricots too. Another beloved fruit.

      My parents ate the plum dumplings as a main course as well. As kids we were shocked because we sprinkled lots of sugar on and had it as a dessert. Usually sour plums are used, as you know, so the sugar was needed to counter balance that a bit. My mom bought sweet plums since that was what was sold at the grocery store.

      Did your family make/eat turosgomboc?

      1. Oh yes, my family loved túrósgombóc, although my dear Dad complained it was peasant food, lol! But then again, so was gnocchi (now about $20 on a menu!!!!)

      2. It’s interesting how ‘peasant food’ has become the food of the ‘upper crust’, isn’t it? I hope to make turosgomboc soon.

  2. I also know these! In Poland they are always filled with violet oval plums (at least in Warsaw) and they are also a main course, not a dessert (they are too heavy to be a dessert, just like the gnocchi similar to turosgomboc). I love them! Must remember to make them when plum season comes.

    1. They are pretty dense but with the addition of a bit of sugar to the sour plums inside, and sugar in the bread crumb mixture, they’re sweet enough for a dessert. Plums, apricots, cherries … even a stiff jam. You can put what you like inside.

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