Marillenknödel, a sweet and delicious Austrian Apricot dumpling

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I ate this dessert or dish at the Mariandl Restaurant in Spitz, Austria. The “Marille” is a protected designation of small Apricot that grows in the Wachau wine region of Austria.

One of my favorite alcoholic beverage is the Marillenschnaps, I make sure I buy several bottles to take with me.

Traditional Marillen dumplings are made from a dough that is low in sugar and contains no butter. They also taste delicious with other fruit, for example plums or strawberries, and can be easily to frozen.

The Preparation:

The simplest variant for the apricot dumpling dough is made from “Topfen” which is Quark with the liquid removed. Quark is hard to find in the US, the best substitutes for Quark are: cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and crème fraîche. It all depends on the texture you are trying to achieve. See more about Quark substitutes here. I used Ricotta cheese for this recipe because it is easier to find in the store, and is dense.

To make the dough, all you have to do is stir together a handful of ingredients with a fork, let the the dough rest briefly, and then wrap the dough around the pitted small apricots.

  • Marillen, small Apricots
  • Prepare the dough, batter
  • Stir batter with whisk
  • Marillenknödel, Apricot dumplings
  • Boil dumplings in water
  • Marillenknödel, Apricot dumplings
  • Marillenknödel, Apricot dumplings
  • Marillenknödel, Apricot dumplings in powdered sugar
  • Bed & Breakfast, Spitz, Wachau
  • Marillenschnaps, Wachau

Removing the kernel of the Apricot:

The apricot kernel or pit can be easily removed with a wooden spoon handle: use the wooden spoon handle to press the side with the stem attachment until the kernel slides out on the other side. You also could cut the apricots open at the top or the side with a knife, and then core them. The advantage of the knife-slicing variant is that it is much easier to fill the apricot with the sugar cube. The sugar melts during cooking and turns into a fruity-sweet syrup.

The apricots should stay whole when possible so the dumplings hold together better.

Fill with Sugar cubes

If you don’t have sugar cubes at home, you can use a teaspoon of granulated sugar instead. To do this, it is best not to core the apricots with the handle of a wooden spoon, and instead use a knife to cut a slid on the top or side, otherwise it is very difficult to fill them. You can of course skip this sweet step if you calorie conscious.