it really pays to stay on top of the food blogs. especially one of my favorites, thekitchn; i've mentioned it on more than one occasion. in this particular instance, a recipe review of gourmet's strawberry dumpling caught my eye. it looked so good, simple, and seemed like the perfect use for my overabundance of csa strawberries. what's more, this week's strawberries weren't particularly sweet, so i hadn't gobbled them all up plain quite yet. it seemed much better to use them in a recipe that would enhance their flavor and sweetness.
so this recipe is sort of obvious in a few ways. by that, i mean that it makes complete sense and once you understand it, it's one of those method things that you could apply to almost any food. how, you ask? forget the strawberries, use your favorite berries. or go with all stone fruits. or, hell, i bet it would work with apples as well. or let's get really crazy, and go back to the dumpling roots. now we're on a completely different page but in addition to the classic chicken and dumplings, you could make this with any vegetables you wanted (no meat necessary).
don't be scared by the way it looks here. we can't all be as beautiful as gourmet magazine. that and my nectarine and spelt additions made the colors much more, shall we say, earthy??? i made a couple of minor modifications to the recipe below. first, i used a combo of strawberries and nectarines because i happened to have a nectarine on hand. second was using low fat milk instead of whole. and i'm glad i did. i'm not into the super rich dairy items (hence the froyo preference) and i really don't think that this negatively impacted the dumplings. the whole dessert is so good and substantial but not too heavy that i was glad the dumplings didn't feel like they were going to sink to the bottom of my stomach. that and spelt tends to be a little denser, so i figure they canceled each other out. i even plan on trying soy next time.
strawberry (or any other kind) dumpling
- 1 quart strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced (about 4 cups)--or any other combination of fruit of your choosing!
- 2/3 cup sugar (you certainly don't have to use this much. adjust according to how sweet your fruit is)
- 1 cup spelt flour (or your preferred gluten-free baking mix)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2/3 cup milk (the original recipe calls for whole; i used low-fat)
- stir together strawberries and sugar in a 4-qt heavy saucepan and let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes. bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. blend in butter using a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. stir in milk until just blended, then add mixture to boiling berries and stir once or twice (thekitchn recommended just dropping the dough in on top and not stirring, which is what i did). tightly cover saucepan and reduce heat to low.
- cook, undisturbed, until dumpling looks dry on top, 15 to 18 minutes. let stand off heat, uncovered, 5 minutes before serving.
- serve with heavy cream, vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, regular yogurt--something creamy. or not.