Yummy! Strawberry Dumplings (Jahodové knedlíky)

Strawberry dumplings
Bohemian Strawberry Dumplings

Most of my posts are mental health-related, but I have kept my promise and written about other interests that enrich my life. One of my many loves in life is cooking. I’ve written a couple of food-related posts in the past. Today I’m sharing my Czech (Bohemian) mother-in-law’s Strawberry Dumplings (Jahodové knedlíky). They are indulgent yummy balls of paradise. We ate them last night for dinner. Czechs usually eat them as a lunch, with 6-8 dumplings per person, but most people outside of Czech Republic may consider them a dessert. Three to four dumplings would be plenty for that.

strawberries
Gotta love them!

The month of May marks the start of strawberry season in my area. I’ve noticed they are getting cheaper in my grocery stores. So this is the time to make these wonderful buggers. Other than fresh strawberries, all you need are basic pantry ingredients, plus farmer’s cheese. Never had farmer’s cheese? There is a chance your grocery store carries it near the cottage cheese section, but please please do NOT use cottage or ricotta cheese. They don’t work in this recipe.

Bohemian Strawberry Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb plain farmer cheese, plus more for topping (In my area, Friendship brand is preferred, if another is used, flour amount may need adjustment)
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tbs all-purpose flour (Note: May need more if farmer cheese is very wet)
  • pinch of salt
  • 12-15 standard-size strawberries, washed and greens removed, or extra small Italian prune plums, stems removed (no need to pit)
  • melted butter (for topping)
  • small bits of farmer cheese (for topping)
  • confectioner’s sugar (for topping)
  • whipped cream (optional)
 Directions:
  1. Set a large pot of water on to boil and add a little salt.
  2. Mix farmer cheese, egg, flour, and salt to form a soft dough. Knead thoroughly on floured board.
  3. On floured board, work the dough into a long cylindrical shape, which you’ll slice into roughly 12-15 even-sized pieces. Use these individual pieces of dough to wrap around the fruit until the fruit doesn’t show anymore. Flour hands frequently so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. I usually roll the “balls” in my hand after wrapping to help distribute the dough evenly around the strawberries. Put wrapped dumplings on lightly floured plate until all are wrapped.
  4. Drop dumplings into the large pot of boiling salted water (make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot). When water boils again, cover and simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Spoon cooked dumplings out of pot onto plates with a large slotted spoon. Serve with more farmer cheese, drizzle of melted butter, healthy dusting of confectioner’s sugar, and optional whipped cream and fresh strawberries to decorate. Yield: Serves 2 for lunch or 4 for dessert. Recipe doubles easily.

With practice, a single batch of this recipe made fresh takes about 15-20 minutes to prep, and 6 mins to boil.

 

Left: Some farmer cheeses may need to be grated. Middle: My choice in farmer cheese (comes wrapped in paper within plastic). Right: Pot style farmer cheeses are often wetter than the others pictured, and may need more flour in the recipe. If the farmer cheese you find doesn’t look like any of the above, then it’s the wrong kind of farmer cheese. It should NOT look like a hard cheese. It should be white like ricotta cheese.

Note 2: Wrapping the dough around the strawberries takes a little practice. Perhaps the first time start with 12 strawberries/12 dough portions. If using Italian prune plums, there will be a couple fewer.

Note 3: Uncooked wrapped dumplings may be frozen. Arrange uncooked dumplings on small cookie sheet or large plate lined with waxed or parchment paper. Cover with paper and freeze over night. Put frozen dumplings in plastic freezer bags. To prepare, boil frozen dumplings in boiling water for about 10-12 minutes to thaw and cook. This makes for a quick delicious treat any day of the week.

Italian prune plums
Italian prune plums

Once strawberries become out of season and more expensive, consider using small ripe Italian prune plums (smaller than regular plums), instead. They are usually in stores about a month or so later, where available. In Czech these dumplings are called “Švestkové knedlíky”. Cook these a couple minutes longer than the strawberry dumplings.

Generally no one eats one full dumpling in one bite, except for maybe my brother – LOL! After they are cooked, slice them open to see the cross-section of the beautiful fruit. As mentioned, no need to remove the pits from the Italian prune plums before wrapping them in dough. Just remove the stems. Remove the pit after you slice open the delicious steaming dumpling. It removes easily.


I have received concerns that farmer’s cheese may not be available in your area. Please do ask. I didn’t know about it until my husband introduced me to it, and then I discovered it was available all along. If it isn’t, and you have the motivation, try making your own with the recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/73981/home-made-farmers-cheese/

 

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18 thoughts on “Yummy! Strawberry Dumplings (Jahodové knedlíky)

  1. gregoryjosephs May 17, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    These sound delicious! I’m 1/4 bohemian, and my full-blooded grandmother has a ton of recipes, but this one is new to me. I’ll be sure to try this out.

    Question though. . .

    I’m not sure I’ll find farmers cheese, but I make my own cheese sometimes and may have made a farmers cheese by a different name. Can you describe the flavor for me? I’m guessing somewhat sour with a texture like cream cheese or chèvre?

    Can’t wait to try this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight May 17, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Hi gregory. That would be great if you could try them. Farmer’s cheese is very mild. It’s not sour hardly at all. It is not as smooth as cream cheese. It should not be like cream. It’s closer to ricotta cheese in texture, but a little drier usually. Czechs actually use one that can be grated, but the kind I find in the USA is softer, but works. I found a recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/73981/home-made-farmers-cheese/ which should be close enough. It is based on a Polish recipe, which is close to Czech style.If it is wet in the end, I’d squeeze excess liquid from it using a cheese cloth. If drier like ricotta cheese, just proceed as in my recipe, adding more flour if the dough is too wet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gregoryjosephs May 18, 2017 / 12:09 am

        Thank you! I can’t wait!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Darie.T May 17, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I’ve never heard of this but I’m definately excited to try it! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight May 17, 2017 / 10:21 pm

      Hi Darie. I hope you do try the strawberry dumplings. I hope farmer’s cheese is available in the stores of those who wish to try it. Farmer’s cheese is popular in areas that have Central European and some other European populations. I come from New Jersey. There are a number of Central Europeans here. Also, the Pennsylvania Dutch make farmer’s cheese.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Darie.T May 17, 2017 / 10:23 pm

        Is there a substitution if it can’t be found?:(

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight May 17, 2017 / 10:29 pm

        Hi Darie. I posted a recipe in response to gregory, but if you can’t find farmer’s cheese anywhere or don’t wish to go to the trouble of making it from scratch, then consider making the Cottage Cheese pancakes I mentioned at the end of my post (recipe included). I’m a little reluctant to suggest substitutes for farmer’s cheese for the Strawberry Dumplings recipe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Darie.T May 17, 2017 / 10:33 pm

        Thanks for the advice!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nel May 17, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    Can I come over?!? These look so delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight May 18, 2017 / 12:42 pm

      Thank you for sharing this post. I hope if some of your readers make these they will enjoy them.

      Like

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