Szilvás Gombóc (Hungarian Plum Dumplings)

I am half Hungarian on my mother’s side.  My grandmother was a fantastic cook who memorized all her recipes; she was very much a dash-of-this-dash-of-that type of cook and everything was always so delicious.  She was in part responsible for piquing my interest in cooking as a young girl.  
The thing is— Hungarian food is traditionally so not vegan.  Not even a little bit.  But with a few adjustments here and there and absolutely no need to sacrifice taste, it veganizes quite easily.  
It made sense, for my first MoFo, to honour those traditions that are in my blood.  You’ll find at least one entry each week marked with the header you see up top.  There’s lots of delicious, animal-free Hungarian stuff on the way!
First up is one of my childhood favourites, Szilvás Gombóc, or Plum Dumplings.  Okay, I’ll back up.  I admit that as a young child I didn’t love these little globes of deliciousness because I didn’t give them a fair try.  I wanted chocolate cake like a normal kid, for heaven’s sake, not plums wrapped in potato dough!  Once I really did try them for real, I loved them and now they are closely linked to fond memories of my nagymama‘s kitchen.  They can even be eaten as a meal themselves as they are not overly sweet in the way North American desserts are.
You pronounce it a bit like sil-vah-sh goam-boats, or just goam-boats for short.  

2 1/4 pounds russet or baking potatoes
1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water mixed together in a small bowl
3 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
2 cups flour
Pinch of salt

16 Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 1/2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pinch of salt 
Powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins in salted water until they’re cooked through. 
  2. While you’re waiting for the potatoes, halve the plums and sprinkle the insides with the sugar and cinnamon (if plums aren’t very sweet, add an extra tablespoon of sugar).
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, drain them, peel them and place in a large bowl; mash them until no lumps remain. Set aside to cool. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the flax mixture and margarine to the mashed potatoes and combine. Add the flour and salt, and knead until all ingredients are well combined. Form the mixture into a ball.
  5. On a large floured surface, roll the dough out roughly into a square shape, with 1/3 inch thickness. Cut into 16 even pieces.
  6. To form the dumplings, place two plum halves in the center of a dough square and bring the four corners together to cover the plum. Pinch the dough firmly and roll in the palm of your hands to completely seal.
  7. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add dumplings; doing two batches so there is no overcrowding in the pot.  Gently stir occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking to the bottom. Cook for about 12 minutes, they should start to float a few minutes before you remove them.
  8. Meanwhile, heat margarine in a medium skillet over medium heat and add bread crumbs, powdered sugar, and salt. Stir until well combined, and keep cooking until bread crumbs are lightly browned, stirring so the mixture cooks evenly. 
  9. To serve, roll the dumplings in the sweet bread crumb mixture until coated. Once plated, dust powdered sugar on top, and serve with extra powdered sugar for sprinkling.
  10. Dig in.