The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

9:59 PM

What's for Dessert? - Colossal Sugar Plum Dumplings

Posted by Magic of Spice

Colossal Sugar Plum Dumplings 
No this is not a super zoomed close-up,
the dumplings really are the size of two or more of the largest
 biscuits you have probably ever had, combined.
I had it in my mind to create some plum dumplings,
but you know me...once I had the basic thought and I start playing
around with the ingredients I have available, all bets are off.

My sons stopped off at the ranch market and brought me home some,
very large and juicy organic plums and threw in some cherries to boot :)
I had on hand wheat bran, flaxseed, wheat flour, rice flour and oats...
So I decided to create my soft dough from a mixture
of these instead of  traditional flour.
So this of course is going to give us full-fledged rights - to play with our food :)

I also decided to really bring out the flavor of these lovely summer fruits.
So, we are going to lightly sauté them in a bit of sugar, butter and wine.
Happy yet? OK then let's play with our food...

What you will need:

For the filling
3 cups plums, pitted and chopped
1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
(or any combination of stone fruits you prefer)
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
(or vanilla extract)
Several dollops of mascarpone cheese  

For the dough
2 tablespoons raw blue agave
(or caster sugar)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs, just softly whipped
1 package cream cheese
2 cups,whole wheat flour
2 cups combined - of the following;
finely milled oats
 wheat bran 
finely milled flaxseed
rice flour
(or use 3 cups flour, or 2 cups flour 
combination with available above ingredients)
A bit of milk

For garnish, a mixture of sugar and cinnamon
* The dough is where we really begin to play with our food
If you are not already familiar with the texture of a soft dough
you will need to play with it depending on the chosen flours.

Let's get cooking:
For the filling
Wash, pit and chop plums into small chunks.
Wash, pit and divide cherries into quarters
In a sauté pan add butter, brown sugar, wine,
cinnamon, ancho and vanilla paste 
Once butter has melted, stir to combine
Add fruit and stir to coat
Place on low heat and continue to simmer,
stirring occasionally, until fruit is softened and liquid
 is reduced to just a bit of a syrup
Set aside and allow to come to room temperature

For the dough
In a large mixing bowl, with a hand mixer, cream butter and agave
In a smaller bowl lightly whip eggs by hand
Add eggs to butter mixture, and beat until incorporated
Add cream cheese and 1 cup of flour mixture
Beat until incorporated, continue at 1 cup of flour
until you have achieved a soft dough (not tacky)

On a floured cutting board, place a small handful of dough 
Roll or hand press out a 4x4 square 
(make 2 per dumpling)
At this time check on your cooked fruit mixture
If too much liquid is present, strain a bit 
*Note: you want a slight amount of syrup but not liquidly in consistency 

Place  about 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture on top of dough
Then add a dollop of   mascarpone
Taking your second square of dough and placing over filling
*Note: you are going to be shaping these into basically a cylinder
Tuck your top layer in close to your filling
Leaving a bit of breathing room for the filling
Once your top layer of dough is in place,you will need
to press these edges down onto the bottom layer
Cut away ant excess of the bottom layer,
leaving only enough to mold your dumpling
to be folded up and pressed into you cylinder like shape

Fill a large pot with water and a bit of sea salt,
bring to a rapid rolling boil
Place your dumpling on a large spatula and gently place in boiling water

You can do more than one dumpling at a time 
depending on the size of your pot but do not do more than 2 or 3 at a time
Allow to sit in boiling water for 12-15 minutes or so
until all sides are slightly firm, you may need to dunk them 
down into the water here and there. Once they are floating and firm
gently remove with a straining spoon, making sure that they are relatively dry

Now sprinkle you sugar cinnamon mix on a board or plate
Lay your dumpling on top, then sprinkle more cinnamon sugar mix over the top.
Serve warm or at room temperature
Each dumpling serves one...


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