I’ve previously mentioned the significance of the Hungarian family favourite recipes passed down from my grandmother. Túrós Gombóc*, basically curd cheese dumplings (I’m not sure of the exact translation), is another dish that my mother makes on special occasions, and the recipe was part of the essential family list she gave me when I left home.
One of the main reasons for not making them often is that until relatively recently, farm cheese (itself a substitute from the Hungarian original I’ve later discovered) was difficult to get hold of, and there are no real substitutes. It’s a fresh white cheese, but drier than cottage cheese or ricotta, with a slightly more sour flavour. You will probably not find farm cheese at the supermarket, but most delis will have it – usually in blocks wrapped in cling wrap near the feta etc, or sometimes sold by weight near the fresh ricotta. I buy mine from Deli Cravings at the Belconnen Markets.
Once you have the farm cheese though, it’s very simple, just combining the cheese with a few other ingredients and forming balls. These dumplings are then briefly simmered, and tossed in fried breadcrumbs that form a richly crunchy counterpoint to the tender, delicate dumplings. You will notice there is no sugar in the dumplings themselves. This is not a typo, they are made unsweetened and then you add sugar at the table – this may sound unusual for a dessert, but the result is quite addictive!
I’m thrilled that even my fussy Mr M likes these, as the emotion and family connection is so powerful in these few special recipes passed from mother to daughter to granddaughter to great-granddaughter and son…
Give them a try and let me know what you think…
*The rough pronunciation is TOO-rosh GOM-botz – Liz, feel free to correct, and let me know if I’ve misremembered any other details 🙂
- 750g farm cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs flour
- 115g semolina
- 50g butter, softened
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch salt
- 1/2 c dry breadcrumbs
- extra 2 Tbs butter
Caster sugar and cream to serve (cream is optional)
Process cheese briefly until a rough puree, then add eggs, flour, semolina, 50g butter, lemon zest and salt, and process until smooth and thick. With wet hands form into small (walnut sized) balls. Simmer in salted water until they float and then for another minute or two until just firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Fry breadcrumbs in extra butter until brown, add dumplings and toss until coated with crumbs and heated through. Serve with sugar and cream.