I have what I admit is a limited concept of dumplings. I think of them as savory and filled, such as wontons, pierogi, and my personal favorite, potstickers*. When I'm feeling inclusive, I'll concede that various unfilled doughy concoctions are dumplings as well: matzoh balls, spaetzle, even gnocchi, and so on.
Recently, however, I found a recipe for a "dumpling" that turns all my preconceptions about dumplings on their collective head. As it turns out, dumplings can be sweet--as sweet as early summer strawberries, to be exact. And as luck would have it, I came across this recipe just in time for a new lot of fresh-from-the-fields strawberries. Ruth Reichl's twitter feed consistently gets my stomach growling, but usually it's only with descriptions of the fabulous things she's eating on any given day. This time around she got my stomach growling and linked to a recipe so that I could do something about it.
And what a recipe! If you like biscuits and you like stewed fruit, you must try this recipe. It's a bit like a cobbler with the topping stirred into the fruit, but stickier and more infused with strawberry goodness. A soft, very wet, biscuit-like dough (almost more like a batter, really) is stirred into a gently bubbling pot of slightly sweetened strawberries and simmered until the dough is cooked.
This dumpling is the perfect dessert for those summer days when the warmth of a balmy afternoon doesn't stay for dinner, when by evening you're reaching for a wrap and a warming dessert. The cooking time is short enough that the berries still taste fresh and bright, but long enough that they soften and turn a bit soupy. So if you're not quite ready to plunge headfirst into summer, and want something a bit cozy to do with your early strawberries, take a peek below for the recipe.
* I have a particular weakness for potstickers. In fact, sitting down to write this post gave me such a craving for them that I ordered some for dinner. Yes, I am weak. But they're so good.
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Saturday, May 30, 2009