These tennis-ball-sized potato dumplings are the Björn Borg of the dumpling world. They are old-school champions, and can be boiled or fried, filled or unfilled (and differ in other ways, depending on which regional variety you make: Smålandska dumplings sink when they are initially boiled and rise to the top when they are finished, whereas those from Öland, an island off the east coast of Sweden, do the opposite). Peas aren’t usually added, but I like the way they give the otherwise grey-looking dumpling a lovely green pop. I’ve skipped the filling in this recipe, instead piling them high with a salty, sweet and spicy topping.
Potato and Pea Dumplings
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
For the dumplings:
300g frozen peas
2 medium eggs
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
300–350g potato flour
For the topping:
a knob of butter
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp white pepper
250g smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
a handful of chopped fresh chives
sugared lingonberries or lingonberry jam
Fill a large saucepan with cold salted water and peel the potatoes. Put the potatoes in the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, put the frozen peas into another pan with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, until just tender. Drain and blend to a smooth paste in a food processor. Finely grate the potatoes, then mix with a pinch of salt, the blitzed peas and eggs. Add the nutmeg and 300g of the flour and stir to combine, only adding more flour if you need it – the dough should be firm.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a generous pinch of salt. While it’s coming to the boil, roll the dough into a long sausage and cut into 12 equal pieces, then roll each one into a ball.
Next, make the topping: put the butter into a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the spices, bacon and onion, cooking until the onion is crisp and golden. While the bacon and onion are frying, add the dumplings to the boiling water and cook for 5–10 minutes, or until they are firm but bounce back when touched. If you are unsure, cut one open: the dumpling should be cooked and hot all the way through.
Serve immediately with a generous heap of the topping, a sprinkle of chopped chives and some sugared lingonberries or lingonberry jam.
Get ahead / The dumplings can be frozen after they’ve been boiled. Plunge into boiling water to defrost and reheat.
Recipe from my latest cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen. Order it on amazon now!